Six Tips for a Better Bedtime | Still Playing School

Six Tips for a Better Bedtime

By Devany | Labels:
Our two kids are completely different. One of the times of the day that these stark contrasts are the most apparent is at bedtime. One child climbs into bed ready to settle and relax while the other literally runs circles around us until the last possible moment when he's finally snoring soundly. I've found that one thing they do have in common at bedtime is thriving on a routine. Here are some of our best tips for making the wind down for bed a bit more smooth for everyone!
Tips for a Better Bedtime Routine for Kids

This post was sponsored by Orajel™. The opinions and text are all mine.

I'm sure that our family is a lot like many others with young children at bedtime. We check off all the typical tasks before we get the kids in their beds. We read, put on pajamas, and brush teeth. Yet still, in the years since we've become parents, we've perfected this bedtime song and dance our of necessity.

Our oldest daughter has always been a happy sleeper. She'd likely still be napping if we asked her to do so! At night, she looks forward to a quiet ritual as she settles into her bedroom and the predictability of our evenings together.

Our son, on the other hand, needs to chatter incessantly, roll over in bed, wrestle with all of his stuffed animals, and use up ever last ounce of our patience before he is finally still enough to start drifting off to sleep. His bedtime is exhausting for everyone!

Do you have an easy bedtime child or one who tornadoes around until the very last minute? Maybe like us you have one of each? Regardless of your child's personality, here are several tips that will help make bedtime restful for the whole family.

1. Set the scene!

I like to go upstairs a few minutes before the kids do to get their bedrooms ready. I use this time to make their comfy nests a bit more inviting. I turn on their lamps (or pull the shades in the summer when the sun sets after bedtime), put on soothing music, and set out their stuffed animal friends in silly ways. Sometimes we have surprises waiting on their pillows such as new books or toothbrushes!

2. Give choices!

Our son regularly melts down when we say it's time to head up to bed even though he knows what to expect and we've given warnings at ten and five minutes to finish his play. Thinking of it from his point of view, I've realized that it must still feel very frustrating to have little say over your own schedule in this way. We allow him to have a bit more control over this time of his day by allowing him choices. The time for bed is non-negotiable but he can certainly choose his favorite pajamas, whether he wants his fan on or off, and having his favorite Orajel™ PAW Patrol™ toothbrush and toothpaste always make him a bit more cooperative.

3. Let children help!

Kids love to be challenged with independence. By three years old they can put on their own pajamas and put their clothes in their hamper. At six years old, our daughter loves to put the toothpaste on both her toothbrush and her little brother's! Our dentist did provide us with a great tip in this regard that I'd love to share with you. We invite our kids to brush their own teeth but we always follow up by brushing for them after. Our dentist said until children can tie their shoes they really don't have the manual dexterity to brush their teeth properly completely on their own.

4. Brush teeth!
Speaking of brushing teeth, Orajel™ PAW Patrol™ products are a great way to transition your kids to a flouride toothpaste to protect their teeth from cavities! Our children seeing their favorite characters as they brush before bed.

5. Read!

With a teacher for a momma, of course we read at bedtime! I'm sure many of you do as well but where do you find the very best bedtime books to choose for your kids? Scholastic has curated a list of the 100 Best Read-Aloud Books which are perfect for your bedtime routine. We especially love The Three Bees  which reinforces the importance of a stable and predictable bedtime. Check out the free e-book version!

6. Settle in!

This part of the routine is individual as your kids. Our daughter likes to get a massage at bedtime while our son would rather sing and talk about his day. What have you found allows your child to settle for sleep the best? There are plenty of bedtime resources at Scholastic's Read2Me website for you to find the perfect fit for your family!

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of ORAJEL. The opinions and text are all mine.

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