Ahhh bedtime. Those precious moments when the kids are asleep and I can either catch up on my zzz’s after years sleep deprivation or spend countless hours on the internet. If the kids don’t get to sleep in a timely fashion, I don’t get either. That is why my husband and I have been working on mastering the bedtime routine for years. Here are some tips that have helped our bedtime go smoothly.
Create a Routine (and stick to it every night)
This is one of those “do as I say, not as I do” things. We don’t always stick to our routine, and believe me…when we deviate, we pay for it with late bedtimes and cranky kids in the morning. Our typical bedtime routine includes:
- Shower (for some reason my kids prefer a shower to a bath)
- While the first kiddo is the shower I plug in the oil diffuser using special kid-safe oils (more information below)
- Bedtime story
- Special cuddle time and whatever comfort items they need (discussed more below)
This seems so simple (and it is) and yet it is so important in our house. Your routine can include a bath with lavender bubble bath. Or sometimes when the kids are especially wiped after a busy day, I give their tired legs and feet a massage using a hydrating lotion.
I love diffusing oils in our home. A few years ago I was looking for a line that was considered diluted/safe enough to be used around small children. Kid Safe is a line I found on Amazon that is specially formulated with kids aged 2-10 in mind (affiliate links to follow). I started out with the Germ Destroyer and then started diffusing Nighty Night before bedtime. It made such a difference in our bedtime routine. The kids (and we parents!) were so much more relaxed and tranquil. Here is the diffuser I purchased for under $20 (affiliate link to diffuser here). I have shared this line with a handful of parents who also have reported having a calmer bedtime ritual. Since then I have bought the entire Kid Safe line (it was cost-effective to try them all this way), but those two I mentioned remain my favorite. As a disclaimer: I am not an oil expert or salesperson, so if anyone is and would like to share what they use– please feel free to do so in the comments!
True story– I am jealous of my son’s mattress! Tuft & Needle sent us this mattress in exchange for my honest review. My husband and I have both fallen asleep with him because that bed is so comfortable. A few things I love about them: their mattresses are designed and manufactured in the USA and they offer a 100-night trial. What that means is that if you are not satisfied with your Tuft & Needle mattress within the first 100 nights, you can return it for a refund. And they will donate that mattress to charity.
Another true story– this mattress has survived a stomach flu and nighttime accidents. The first incident occurred before I was able to put his protective sheets on. I can say from experience that I was able to wash the protective T&N cover without problem and the mattress is as good as new. I apologize for the TMI, but as a parent these are things that matter that I don’t always consider.
He is the first to run up to his bed to sleep at night! To sum it up, he is the youngest, has the nicest mattress and falls asleep the fastest. Coincidence? I don’t think so.
Security Blankets (or other items)
My son had security blankets to help him fall asleep when he was younger. My daughter had other things that helped her feel safe and drift off to sleep– a favorite stuffed animal and “no-bad-dream” spray. I took an empty spray bottle and filled it with water and dashed a little rose water to top it off. Every night I would spray it three times and say “No more bad dreams, only good dreams” with every spray. This was part of our routine and helped her feel secure. I have heard of parents using similar techniques to ward off “monsters” or whatever scares their littles.
Other items that have helped our kids feel more secure and calm include:
- Dreamcatchers (ones that we have made together…they are so easy to make…blog post coming soon)
- Night lights– I let the kids pick out their own. My daughter has a frozen one that projects different pictures on the ceiling and my son has a Star Wars one. It is the only way they will sleep with their lights off.
We love our noise machine. Both kids like to be lulled to sleep by sounds of ocean waves. While I keep trying to convince my husband that an oceanfront property should be our next home, the white noise machine will have to do for now. When we are on vacation and trying to get them down for a nap (they hardly ever nap) the noise machine helps do the trick. Try this one by (affiliate link) HoMedics.
Would love to hear your tips and tricks too! Please share!