I was thinking about how nice our bedtime routine with our two year old is. It hasn’t always been so enjoyable. I remember those newborn days when there was hardly any routine at all because I would basically just wait for my daughters cues for bed and just go with whatever would get us by. Over the two years things became a little more intentional as we got her ready for bed, but I still remember a good few months where part of our nightly routine was sitting in her room singing children’s songs for sometimes up to a hour so she could calm down enough to go to bed. That was a stressful phase. Now we have a pretty nice routine that I love and she does really well with. I think it helps her so much to have a routine because she knows what is going to happen, and that helps her have some peace in the late evening when she is getting tired.
With that said this is our current nightly routine, I am sure we will change it and tweak it as our daughter grows just as we have in the past, but for our two year old, this works perfectly.
Bathtime-First things first we get her all clean and let her unwind a little in a nice warm bath. This does not happen every night, normally this is an every other night routine. It is always a good start though.
Pajamas-Next we choose some cozy pajamas to change into. I often let her choose which pajamas she wants to wear for the night, which has been fun.
Laundry-We gather up all the clothes from the day and my daughter takes them to her laundry basket in the closet. It keeps things in order and she loves to be helpful.
Brush Teeth-My two year old insists on doing it herself now so I am not sure exactly how clean they are getting, but I think she does a pretty good job!
Scriptures-Dad joins us at this point and he will read 10 verses of scriptures from the Book of Mormon. We have been reading scriptures since she was about four months old, we started with just five verses a night. It kind of seemed like it might be kind of pointless in the beginning, but this is one of my favorite parts of the night. Since we have been doing it for so long my daughter knows it is coming and we have taught her to be reverent during this time. She does a great job most nights which makes my mama heart proud and thankful.
Song-This is a recent addition to our nightly routine but I love it! We choose a new song each week or two to sing to our daughter. By the middle of the week she is singing along. So far we have taught her “A Child’s Prayer” and we are currently learning “I Feel My Saviors Love.”
Hugs and Kisses-At this point Dad says goodnight (or occasionally mom) and we give our daughter hugs and kisses and say “I love you” to which she responds “I love you too dada, or mama.” It has got to be one of the sweetest parts of the day. Especially because she loves to say “I love you too” multiple times.
3 Books-Then whichever parent is left (usually mom) will read 3 books with her. I usually try to choose books that help us wind down a little. Stories like A Good Day, Stars, I’d Know You Anywhere My Love, and Owl Moon are perfect ways to end the night.
This is usually followed by more kisses, more “I love yous” and climbing into bed while I turn out the lights. She is still a little sad when the night ends, but it is so much better than it once was.
I think nightly routines make a huge difference in the peace at bedtime in our home. We only have one little one to tuck into bed for now so I treasure these moments that we can all be together, because I am sure things change when you add another one or more to the mix.
What are some of your bedtime routines?