Toddler sleep mastery isn’t just going to come from one place. Putting a routine into place isn’t going to make it just happen. It’s going to take consistency, a sleep aid or two, and (at least) a shelf-full of books. Though we guarantee, as much as you’re sick of reading Polar Bear, Polar Bear… or the one about diggers going to sleep, hearing it for the hundredth time is never enough for some kids.
We know you’ve been styling out the routine since baby was born, but here’s a refresher now that your kid is older and probably wise to your old tricks.
- Dim the lights. Forget this one at your peril. “Lights make her come alive!” said Kate, mum of Elvie Violet. The wind down routine begins after dinner. Keep lights in the living room low, then in the bedroom even lower until it’s lights out time.
- Keep your routine short. The hour-long countdown begins when they get in the bath, runs through teeth brushing and storytelling and ends with a quick kiss goodnight and you should be downstairs in time for Corrie (the first showing).
- Get out of the bedroom. They can sleep without you in the room, so don’t let them try to convince you otherwise. This is where a soothing sounds or white noise can work a treat, teamed with a night light to ward off any monsters.
Friends with kids are a superb source of books and so is your local library — bet you haven’t been there in a good few years. Here are a few to request or look out for:
- The Going to Bed Book — you never know, there might be a plot twist…
- Goodnight, Goodnight, Construction Site — the classic sleepy tale of the construction site closing down for the night. Kids love it.
- Bedtime for You — a personalised bedtime book about your child going to bed? Well done Wonderbly; we wish we’d thought of that one.