Tips for a Bedtime Routine
While no two bedtime routines are exactly the same, it’s fair to say that there are some common elements that might help your family wind down before it’s time to go to sleep. The awesome thing about these tips is that they work for each and every member of the family—from baby and toddler to school age and even mom and dad!
Unplug. The rest of these bedtime routine pieces can be done in any order, but unplugging should always be the first step. It’s so easy to have the TV on in the background, your phone in your hand and your little ones playing on handheld game systems and tablets. And that’s fine sometimes, but not at bedtime! The bright screen displays can put stress on your eyes and make it more difficult to fall asleep. Turn off all of your devices and give yourself at least an hour to wind down . . . and hour to do all of the other fun things we have listed!
Snuggle. This is our personal favorite. Who doesn’t love snuggle time? This is especially important for bonding with your little ones. Our days can get so busy between work and chores and homework that physical touch is often left by the wayside. When our babies are newborns we hold and cuddle them constantly, but as our children grow up those moments slowly dwindle down. Take a cuddle break to talk about your day and de-stress.
Read books. Bedtime should be slow, easy and peaceful as much as possible. (If that doesn’t sound like bedtime at your house, no fear. That’s what these tips are for!) Reading aloud to your little ones is a great way to create distance in your mind from the stresses and duties of the day. It will also create a fondness for books that your little one will carry with him for life.
Get ready for bed. This sounds pretty generic but it encompasses so many activities that can be done before bed: bath or shower, lotion, brushing teeth, putting on pajamas, brushing hair, etc. Basically anything that promotes relaxation makes our bedtime routine list.
Stretch. If you have a little one who is particularly wound up at bedtime, try introducing a session of stretching before climbing into bed. It may take a week or two to get the silliness and giggles out during stretching, but eventually your little one will catch on. Stretching is a great way to release tension and prepare your body for bed.
Give thanks. Whether you say prayers or just talk about positive things that happened during your day, ending on a positive note can do wonders for bedtime. This will also teach your little one to look for the positives in life instead of the negatives, and in the long run, that will give him a brighter outlook on life.
There is no right or wrong answer for what works for your family, but we want to help you with ideas that have worked for us and so many of our Ollie Moms. Do you have a favorite step in your bedtime routine that is a must? We would love to hear! As always, we are here to be of support to you. Please contact us anytime Care@theollieworld.com.