Hey, I'm Mckayla! Stay-at-home work-from-home mama building a community for supporting mamas in all walks of life!
Just Mom Things
Have you ever wondered how your toddler has so much energy before bed? Or, how they’re able to stay up for what seems like hours lying down just staring, or singing, in their room? Before you jump to the conclusion that “they’re just not tired” it might actually be the opposite. Your toddler is likely overtired or they’re not picking up the signals that it’s time for bed. I highly suggest looking into activities to help your toddler sleep at night.
If you didn’t know, toddlers THRIVE on routines. They would do the same thing every day if they could. And while they shouldn’t do the same thing every day all the time, a bedtime routine is key to getting your toddler to sleep and stay asleep.
Not sure what to include in your toddler’s bedtime routine? Here are three before-bed activities that will help your toddler sleep at night:
Toddlers are heavily influenced by their environment. If exciting things surround your toddler, they will be excited. If surrounded by calming things, they will be more likely to stay calm. The idea of independent quiet playtime before bedtime is to calm your toddler.
The goal is to show your toddler that while we’re still awake and they can play, it’s time to calm down. Encourage your toddler to play by themselves. Suggest a matching book or a puzzle. If you are comfortable with it, try introducing Play-Doh or moon sand.
Keep in mind that not all activities are calming for all kids. Some toddlers get excited by puzzles and building while others relax. Try different activities until you find one that helps them settle down.
You have probably been advised to read books to your toddler before bed MANY times. This is mainly because it really works. Get your toddler comfortable and cozy, even try a warm cup of milk, and sit down and read a book together. Not only are you helping with their comprehension and speech by reading daily, but it will also help them settle down before bed.
Make sure you choose a calming book too. You don’t want to pick a book full of action and adventure – and steer clear of books with noise buttons! Pick books that are short and simple and preferably center around going to bed like Goodnight Moon or Llama Llama Red Pajama.
Keep a few different options and allow your toddler to pick which one they want you to read. They’ll feel like they are a part of the bedtime routine rather than being forced into a bedtime routine!
Did you know that you don’t necessarily have to bathe your toddler every day? Wild right? My toddlers get so dirty it’s not something I want to skip over. Bathtime is a classic before-bed activity that helps your toddler prepare for bedtime.
The best way to tackle introducing bathtime as a calming time for your toddlers is to use lavender-scented bath soap and limit your bath toys. Avoid noisy toys and water-shooting toys that can lead to your toddler becoming more active than they were before bathtime. Try puzzle toys that attach to the wall, like this one.
Bathtime is what works best for my toddler, but you can try a mix of all of these things! We like to do bathtime and then read a book – when they’re willing or if they’re not quite tired yet!
How are you going to try and settle your toddler to bed? What do you think fits their bedtime routine the best? Let us know in the comments below!