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What’s the Secret to Creating a Toddler’s Bedtime Routine?

Toddlers and young children thrive on routine. They don’t have a lot of control over the majority of their life, so when they can understand the predictability of a pattern, this will cut down on tantrums, will help them to feel more comfortable in what will happen next, and will usually result in a happier child.

The entire bedtime routine should last about 45 minutes to an hour. After dinner, giving the child a bath is an excellent start. Playing in the water is relaxing and quiet and calms a child down from their stimulating day. If it’s not bath day, you may consider still allowing your child to play in water for a few minutes.

The act of changing clothes into pajamas is also a signal that it is almost time for bed. Parents can begin this with their infants as early as two months old! This act of changing clothes gives young children the signal that a new part of the day is beginning.

Once pajamas are on, it’s time to brush teeth, get a drink of water, and read some books, sing songs, or snuggle. Choose activities that are quiet and calm.

If a parent follows this routine consistently, the child will become more pleasant in the evening. The trick is also to do this routine early! Toddlers are meant to go to bed early, so a bedtime routine that begins at 6:30 is a-okay! Sometimes waiting until a toddler is over tired can result in a cranky baby who doesn’t want to go to bed, but is actually overtired!

Originally published on

photo credit: will_i_be via photopin (license)


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