5 Nighttime Routines to Help Your Toddler Get to Sleep
Lots of things happen when you have a kid: You’ll become a pro at changing a diaper one-handed (using a V cute diaper bag), you’ll get used to never peeing alone and you’ll be sleep deprived — very, very sleep deprived. The lack of z’s won’t stop when your offspring steps up from baby to toddler, but this is the time when you really need to set boundaries, create healthy habits and instill nighttime routines that will make bedtime easier for your wide-awake little human. Not only will you be able to get more rest yourself (and OMG, you’ll need it), but you will help your kids feel safer and more secure (routines help with that). It’s a win-win! To assist you in this noble journey, we have five tried and true ways to help your little ones go night night.
1. Read soothing books. This is a go-to bedtime routine for a gazillion parents, and for good reason. It works! But you shouldn’t merely pull out any book — find tomes that are soothing, relaxing and have a soft cadence. You wouldn’t want to pick a book that is full of action or one that’s too interactive. This is the time for them to wind down. When reading, try to use your softest tone; not only will it help relax them, but it’ll do wonders for you too. Find a book that they love and that brings them comfort. If you find a book that works not unlike a sleeping pill, you’ve lucked out (I have no idea why, but my daughter would nod off whenever I’d read her Oh No, Not Ghosts! I can pretty much recite this one by heart).
2. Say your goodnights. Pull a Goodnight Moon and have your little one say goodnight to anything and everything. Wish the dog, the cat, their stuffies, their siblings and, yes, even the moon a goodnight. It’s a sweet routine that will help them realize that this is adjustment time between awake and asleep. There’s something about having them realize that it’s not just them going to sleep and that they’re not alone. Just give them boundaries. If they start saying goodnight to every hair on your head, you’re in trouble.
3. Have them take a bath. This is another bedtime helper that many parents don’t use enough. The warm water of bath time will help relax your child’s mind, as well as their muscles, and will assist in getting them to a state more conducive to sleep. Just thinking of taking a bath makes me sleepy. If you have a dimmer on your bathroom lights, having the lighting a bit lower than usual will help even more. Chat with them while they bathe and reflect on the day. And there’s a big bonus to this routine — you’ll have a clean kid!
4. Play relaxing music. Hide your Ramones and Kesha CDs; they won’t help with bedtime AT ALL. Instead, invest in some low-key kid-friendly music from classic lullabies to classical to Bossa Nova (we’re partial to Getz / Gilberto played at a low volume). It doesn’t need to be music; you can use sounds from something like the Baby Shusher — it’s a sound machine for the baby who loves the sound of shushing.
5. Play a soothing game. There are several games that can help get your little one to sleep (and do a little learning in the process). Take turns playing the alphabet game. First say something like “A is for apple,” and they would follow with “B is for boy.” Keep on going until they nod off. Numbers work just as well: Try “one little monkey,” followed by “two cute cats” and so on, until they get to the point where they go night night.
Does your family do any of these bedtime routines? Tweet us @BritandCo and let us know.
(Photos via Getty)
It can be intimidating to step out on your own and build a business from the ground up. As part of our collaboration with Office Depot, we're talking with Selfmade alum and solopreneur Colette Lawrence, the faith-based motivator and relationship builder behind The M.E.E. Movement, about ways in which women in business can find success.
B + C: How did you know M.E.E. Movement was your business to start?
The M.E.E Movement represents motivation, empowerment, and encouragement for women. It is what represents me. I did not know at first that it was my business to start, but then the thought of monetizing what I loved came to me. It scared me, however. I registered the business in July 2020 and have been slowly building my wings since.
B + C: What's one strategy that's helped you start your business?
Thinking through and researching what the requirements are to start my business, and then asking questions of people who are in the business. Not all advice worked; however, it helped me to figure out what I needed to do and not to do.
B + C: Did you always know life coaching would be your entrepreneurial path?
(Smiles) No, I did not. I 'stumbled" on it. I knew that people were always coming to me for advice and I found that I loved having conversations with them, especially with women, young and old.
B + C: What was your most valuable takeaway from Selfmade?
My most valuable takeaway was the first day of training: Get out of your own way. There were a lot of great moments and important takeaways from every presenter. However, getting out of my own way, pushing past doubts, was for me my most valuable takeaway. Doing something that I had never done before took courage. If I do not focus on what is happening with me mentally then I cannot deliver to my clients successfully.
B + C: What's one piece of advice you would give to female entrepreneurs on the brink of starting?
Get out of your head. You have something to offer. You have what you need to succeed so go ahead and do it.
B + C: How do you stay motivated?
I stay motivated by listening to music and listening to motivational speakers, and sometimes someone will just reach out and talk about the impact that I made in their life. That adds the extra juice or sauce I need to pummel through the day.
B + C: What's your best organizational tip?
Keep a diary and journal. It's the best way for me to keep organized and it also provides a source motivation as I record not only my "losses" but my wins as well.
B + C: Who inspires you in the entrepreneurial space?
Shirley Toliver – She motivates and empowers and makes me always want to show up.
B + C: What has receiving the Office Depot scholarship to Selfmade done to help you start or grow your business?
The scholarship was a blessing in that all the areas that were covered offered valuable information that I needed, from social media to HR. As a new business owner, I needed to know this to increase my own personal awareness in what it takes to run a successful business. The candidness of the presenters made it easy to see myself in their shoes and helped me to realize that I can also get there.
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Head to Office Depot's Selfmade page to check out even more amazing business resources (and discounts!) to help you accomplish more on your entrepreneurial journey. These offers are available for a limited time only, so be sure to take advantage of all this goodness while supplies last. Want to join the next Selfmade cohort this summer? Check out all of the scholarship details right here.