SLEEP => Sleeping For Toddlers => Topic started by: GG on September 11, 2006, 13:58:14 pm

Title: Toddler wind down routines
Post by: GG on September 11, 2006, 13:58:14 pm
Nothing I do seems to really help DS wind down before bedtime. We read books to him for a little while - around 15 min - and brush teeth as his wind down. He is still wound up, though. The lights in the room where he plays are low (or off, depending on how bright it is outside) and, generally, I don't keep lights on in the house if we're not using a room.  Still, it takes him over an hour sometimes to get to sleep.

I realize that it may just be his way of getting to sleep but I'd still like to try to get him more relaxed when he goes to bed.  Btw... he moves around too much if I try massage.

What sort of things do you do with your dc to help them relax and wind down?
Title: Re: Toddler wind down routines
Post by: Florencia on September 11, 2006, 18:36:56 pm
Masagge is a great hit around here. As your ds, mine would get wriggly at the beggining but i read somewhere (can't remember very well where, i think it was the Johnsonn & Johnsonn's baby site) that if you use a calming lotion (there's one made out with chamomille and lavender that smells YUMMY) and start on 30 secs to 1 min sessions and over the weeks gradually increment it to 3-5 mins, that should be enough. The points lo's adore are feet, specially if you manage to make a "click" with his feet bones... that is really relaxing to them. Also on the hands, and those should be your starting poings. When he accepts it without getting wired, try behind the ears, really smoothly. IF he's OK with it, go with the back and arms till gradually he lets you do his whole body.

Another thing we implemented around 15 months was waving bye bye to things. We'd look through the windows and say night night to trees, dogs, kids on the streets, i'd take an opportunity if i saw a kid running and say: hey, that boy's rushing home cause it's time to sleep... things like that. Then I'd let him turn off some lights in the house, that's his way of saying bye bye to the kitchen, dining room, etc. We'd put some toys to bed as playtime during the day, so he's familiarized with the "going down" process.

We also play soothing music during bath time and i let the music on for his first 2 hours of sleep (we live in a really loud neighborhood so that's more a need) but recently we've introduced picking the cd he likes as part of the routine. I let him choose his pj's (among closed options), the bath towel he likes... it's like he helps me prepare his routine and we start the going down mood with it. We choose clothing for the next day, prepare diaper bag with snacks and juices and when all's set I let him have his bottle watching a cartoon (This is recently, like 2 months ago). So i'd say hour night windown lasts about an hour with a really winding part starting after bath, lasting about 15 mins. We have a short version of it for nap time (quick bye bye to things, quick putting toys down, bottle, brush teeth while listening to music and off to bed) that lasts from 5-20 mins depending on how much time i have.

HTH and that many other moms jump in this thread with different ideas so we can build a sticky with it!!!!!! come on mommies, don't be shy!
Title: Re: Toddler wind down routines
Post by: GG on September 11, 2006, 20:21:14 pm
Thanks Florencia!  As I was reading your reply I started planning things out in my head and I think the first thing I'm going to do is write down a planned wind-down routine, something that I can follow every night until he (and I) get used to it. Maybe I'll start with a warning just before we start the wind down, so at least he knows it's coming. I also like saying goodnight to things. I've done that in the past but it was only to 3-5 items (inspired by the book "Goodnight Moon", no less).

My biggest problem is dd, who's bedtime is around 7 PM but who isn't always asleep at that time. Also, an hour is a long wind down and, although it would be absolutely wonderful to spend it with ds, it may not happen.

Thank you for your suggestions! And I, too, would love to see what other people do with their toddlers.
Title: Re: Toddler wind down routines
Post by: Florencia on September 12, 2006, 17:40:20 pm
Hey GG!

Just to clarify, I don't spend the whole winding down hour with him, for example the 20 mins he watches a cartoon (usually a soothing one like Caillou or Clifford) and drinks his bottle, he's in his room while I tidy the house (i work part time so i totally get lack of time to do things... you could spend that time putting Lena down). While he picks socks, pj's towel Im usually at the living room or my room (again, tyding... oh my life's so fun!) and he comes on and off showing me what he's picked. While we bye bye things, I'm usually picking up his mess or folding clothing so the time I actually spend with him without doing another thing is bath, massage, sing songs and putting down, no more than 20 mins. That could also work for you! if he's too demanding and wants me to pay attention just to him i gently remind him that I have to say good night to my things too (yes, the sheets and daddy's socks ::) he's gonna grow up thinking I enjoy that stuff LOL) and he usually understands it.

HTH and good luck!
Title: Re: Toddler wind down routines
Post by: Catharine on September 12, 2006, 18:48:18 pm
Our bedtime routine starts at 7.30-7.45pm when we go upstairs to brush dd's teeth. DH brushes her teeth while I sort her room out, get PJs and and bed ready. Then we are both in her room while she plays with DH and I attempt to change her clothes and diapers. DH gives her a kiss & hug good night and dd & I choose a book to read. I put her in her sleeping bag and start reading. If she acts up at this point, I tell her that its lights off straight away and sleepy time. That usually does the trick for us.

We read about 2-3 books depending on the time. I make it a point to have lights out by 8.30pm no matter what time we start. A little trick I use with her is to pretend that we've finished reading but let her persuade me to read one last book on the condition that it is bedtime after that. Then she lies on me and we talk for a bit about her day or what we are going to do the next day (she seems to really relax at this point), then its kiss and a hug good night before I turn off the light and close the door.

Bathtime used to be part of our routine but she started hating it and crying which hyped her up too much so we took that out. We used to lie in the dark together and say good night to all her friends, family, our friends, her toys, etc. We changed it because the books seemed more effective, though we still do it every now and then.

Buy some new books that your ds really likes, like his favourite characters or toys, or buy those with lots of colourful pictures and you can read and make some bits up as you go along.

Title: Re: Toddler wind down routines
Post by: imsmum on September 12, 2006, 19:28:24 pm
Margot needs a long time in her bed to process her day even after wind-down with me and I have never been able to change that so we just start super early (6:45 with teeth, jammies, try potty, songs and/or books, then then the grande finale of Dora bandages in her crib)  and I usually leave her between 7:15 and 7:30.  She talks away to herself  until she falls asleep at 7:50 to 8:10.  Some kids just need to wind themselves down I think.
Title: Re: Toddler wind down routines
Post by: Fiona (Leah & Kians Mom) on September 12, 2006, 19:58:45 pm
think my dd needs her wind down now alone in her cot, before was 7.30 bed and sleep, now she chats for an hour and more, ended up being cranky so now dh is away i made bedtime 7.15 so at least she is asleep by 8.15 and wake up around 7, she was much better today. Started about 5 weeks ago
Title: Re: Toddler wind down routines
Post by: Carmela's Mom on September 13, 2006, 12:15:21 pm
Our routine isn't as calming as some of them posted, but I'll tell you anyway.  At 7:00 Carmela has a snack.  We're normally outside playing so she'll eat it outside.  At 7:30 it's bath time.  We come in and go straight to the bath.  She's in the bath until 7:45 or so.  She plays pretty hard in the bath.  After bath, she chooses her own pajamas (choice of two), I put her lotion on, brush her hair, etc. and then we come downstairs.  She gets sippy cup of milk and we usually color together for a few minutes.  At 8:15 we start cleaning up (8:10 if its super messy) the playroom.  Then she chooses 3 books to read.  We come on the couch and cuddle and read the 3 books.  We always end with the same Night Time Pooh book.  Then she kisses Daddy and the dog goodnight (Joey goes to bed at 8:00).  We go upstairs, brush teeth, change diaper one last time into night time diaper.  While we change diaper we go over "what did we do today".....and I tell her everything we did.  Then it's up in bed where I sing her "You are My Sunshine"  "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star" and then I say our prayers and tell her "night night, I love you, sleep tight, Mommy see you in the morning".  And I walk out usually about 8:30-8:40.  Most of the time she's asleep by 8:45.  If not, then 9:15 the absolute latest.
Title: Re: Toddler wind down routines
Post by: Fiona (Leah & Kians Mom) on September 14, 2006, 18:49:42 pm
Our routine changes every now and then, this is what we are on at the moment
Dinner 6pm finished around 6.30
Quiet play, usually blocks especially if dh is home. Tidy up then kisses and hugs for Daddy.
We have to put our shoes under the buggy in the hall  ::) then into her room. Vest on and nappy change and clean or cats lick with wipe ( bath/shower during day time). Then into sleeping bag sitting on the spare bed in her room, both of us have to kiss both her feet. Then we read 1 book, each book usually lasts about 3 months before she gets tired of it, we are on the hungry catepillar. She kisses each page, looks at the 5 animals on her sleeping bag and then into bed, kisses and hugs for cuddles ( teddy) dolly molly and Leah and then I go. This takes about 15 minutes in total. She then proceeds to chat for about 50 minutes to herself in the dark. We go into her room at 7.00 pm and bed at 7.15 pm since it's taking her so long to sleep, used to be sleep time at 7.30 but with an hour long chat time it was closer to 9 some nights when she fell asleep so I moved foward by 15 mins.
Title: Re: Toddler wind down routines
Post by: GG on September 16, 2006, 05:27:30 am
Wow! There are lots of lo's that take almost an hour to fall asleep!  Right now ds runs around his crib, pulls down Winnie the Pooh blankets that are on either side of the crib, plays with the 1 or 2 stuffed animals I leave in his crib (tried leaving them out one time but he still didn't sleep until an hour later) and babbles. I hope he's not still running around when he's in his toddler bed (I won't be moving him until he's at least 2 yo, unless he figures out how to jump out of his crib).

Something that's been helping is to let him do his running around/playing for about half an hour, then go in and caress his back, his hair, his belly. This has been very calming and he falls asleep within 5 min of me doing that. But he needs to get rid of that last bit of energy otherwise the caresses don't help. ::)
Title: Re: Toddler wind down routines
Post by: anna and adam on December 14, 2006, 13:04:03 pm
Again all is explained! I was about to start waking him early from his nap because it takes him so long to fall asleep, not crying, just chatting, but it seems they are all doing this... Thanks.
Title: Re: Toddler wind down routines
Post by: BabyBsMommy on March 19, 2007, 02:09:28 am
For naptime, DS usually watches 15 min of a Baby Einstein video then we go upstairs, have some milk, read a story, cuddle and goes down to bed (asleep within 10 min or so) - the whole upstairs part lasts about 10 min or so.

For bedtime, again, usually watches a quieter video for 15 min or so OR we put on some quiet music while we tidy up.  Bath, say goodnight to things in his room and the sun (or moon depending on the time of year  :D), have milk while I read a 2-3 stories (always 1-2 differnent ones but we always end with the same one), prayers, snuggle and in bed.  About 15 min in his room before I put him down.  Oh and if his lovies (two teddies) have been "playing" with him before bed, we make a big deal of putting them in his crib to "wait" for him during his bath and then he gets to reunite with them in bed which makes him pretty happy!
Title: Re: Toddler wind down routines
Post by: LIATR on July 09, 2007, 11:06:27 am
Libby is one year old. my dh does the routine when he returns from work its their time together. He finishes giving her dinner then 20 min bath (she loves it, they both do) he puts her pj's and he brings her to me for good night kiss and then he takes her to bed  - yesterday I started reading her before he took her to bed, she enjoyed it for the first time.
Title: Re: Toddler wind down routines
Post by: katriona on August 24, 2007, 04:32:05 am
we've had some variant of the same routine for quite a while now:

5.30pm dinner
6.00pm quiet play
6.20pm bath (he has a yoghurt and some milk in the bath)
6.40pm diaper, PJs, brush teeth, night-night trees outside the window, turn bathroom off lights
6.50pm two books, teething meds, drink, daddy's special story, kisses, i turn off lamp and leave; daddy prays and puts in crib in dark before leaving.
7.00pm down, hopefully asleep by 7.15pm

i must say that just recently we've had a great deal of babbling and foot thumping, followed by gradually more insistent "mammamamamas." so far it's been settled by me opening his door and letting the hall light shine in a little till he falls asleep, when i close it.

hth! would be interested to see more of others!
Title: Re: Toddler wind down routines
Post by: Sarah and JT on August 28, 2007, 15:57:53 pm
Things that have helped our 2 year old over the last 6 months or so:

 :) keeping a really consistent routine for bedtime (from 6pm dinner to 7:30 at the latest in bed & going to sleep
 :) skipping bath if he is wired after nursery & just getting him to bed asap
 :) constantly reminding him that he is tired and needs to go to bed & of the routine as we go through it i.e. "you are really tired coz you've had such a busy day.  you can have your milk, then I'll read you a story and then it will be time to go to sleep"
 :) Sometimes just saying firmly "its time to go sleep now"  (doesn't always work though..)
 :) saying goodnight to postman pat characters in the poster on the wall!
 :) Talking about how tired his cuddly toys are and putting them in his bed beside him & asking JT to help them to go to sleep (how cute!  he shhhhhhs them!)
 :) When JT is particularly wired, and isn't calm enough to go to sleep even after two stories, we tell him the story of his day by whispering it in his ear.  It seems to really help him to process the day and he will often stay lying down after that and chat to himself until he goes to sleep.
 :) Holding him still firmly - a last ditch attempt but sometimes when JT is really tired its like he can't stop moving - there have been times we have done this and he has fallen asleep in moments.

HOpe this is useful

Title: Re: Toddler wind down routines
Post by: kazza12 on November 13, 2007, 23:46:27 pm
Does anyone have tips and timing for wind down strategies for day time naps for a 13 month old who has started to walk (run mostly)? I think I have gotten into a trap of patting her/hold my hands on her to get her to go to sleep during the day to sped up the process. Also if she lies in her cot chatting and getting up and down for an hour should I get her up - is this type of rest considered ok? :D
Title: Re: Toddler wind down routines
Post by: Monkeybelly on February 06, 2008, 14:16:47 pm
Our routine is a bit long winded, but it's helped our spirited toddler get the hang of going off to bed (so I'm more than happy :)

5.30: Teatime
6.00: Tidy up toys (if she's been playing with her babydoll, she tucks her into her "bed...aka the beanbag...before going upstairs)
6.20: Brush Teeth, get naked, drop toys into bath with associated "splash" sound effects, and get into bath
6.40: Get dried, nappy on, jammies on, look at the baby in the mirror (Heather's reflection lol) and come downstairs
6.55: Watch "In the Night Garden" and have a drink of milk.  Watching in the night garden itself is a huge ritual - say night night to everyone as they get into bed, tell iggle piggle it's time to go to sleep and "it's ok iggle piggle, time to go" then as the music plays at the end...
7.30: Bedtime! 

We've been doing it like this for a few months now and never deviate...Heather does try to distract us from the end of the night garden with various antics (as if, if we dont see it she won't have to go to bed ;D ) ::) but we very rarely have any problems...time will tell how this fares with the big girl's bed to contend with  ;)
Title: Re: Toddler wind down routines
Post by: 403girl on May 09, 2008, 02:23:56 am
This is our current routine. I am in the midst of tweaking it. We're also in the middle of 2-1 nap switch so times vary depending if he needs to go to bed earlier. Normally supper starts at 5:30 and bath starts at 6:15, Asleep by 7pm.

 -Bath, brush teeth, put on pj's, put on sleep sack
- Read 3 or so books, nurse and sing a song, read another book, nurse, say a prayer, then sing twinkle twinkle

Title: Re: Toddler wind down routines
Post by: tiredtwoboys on July 31, 2008, 10:05:04 am
Hi all
Please help - toddler is nearly three and waking in the night. He always goes to sleep really well, has no props and even has his 5 month baby brother in the room too. For about the last year he has been waking now and then in the night - he goes back to sleep when you go in and say "go back to sleep" often he says he's thirsty and so he has a beaker of water next to the bed. Recently he has started waking 4/5 times, often in a tantrum so can't get any sense, in the end he says he wants a drink but now he won't let us leave the room until he has put the beaker back down. I think we may have a major problem here, not heard of Walk in/walk out before so not sure if appropriate? Please post your thoughts. also - will have to move baby back into our room whilst we sort this problem.. nooooooo!
Title: Re: Toddler wind down routines
Post by: anniedooday on August 21, 2008, 16:28:07 pm
our bedtime savior is Harold and the purple crayon. And if I need to get them to brush teeth ,potty, and get changed quickly we start watching then pause to do those and then restart. The bonus is that it is about a little boy who can't fall asleep so he pretends... everything he draws come to life. So I use that to my advantage and tell my 3 yr old if she has trouble just close your eyes and pretend like Harold. It is a very low key show. And even has a little relaxing music in it too.
Title: Re: Toddler wind down routines
Post by: becky1969 on April 10, 2009, 00:53:32 am
Our wind down: (Owen, age 3.3)

*We always set the timer 5 minutes before it's time to go upstairs.  It helps him make the transition better.
*When timer goes off, it's time for "last jumps".   ;D  This means Daddy throws him up into the air 5 times.

*We go upstairs with a sippy of water and put sippy in his room.  Then it's off to the bathroom for potty time, bath (every other day)/wash up, teeth brushing.

*Back to his room where we change into jammies and sleep sack.

*Read 3 stories.  If bath night, only 3.  Non-bath nights he gets 1 extra 'short' story.

*After stories we go around the room saying 'night-night' to his favorite objects, ending with his light when we say "Night night Mr. Sun! All our days' adventures are done! We'll see you in the morning!"

*Off to the rocker for a sip of water and then rocking/cuddling while mommy sings "Hush Little Baby" and "Rockabye Baby".  After songs, one more sip of water and then we go over all the things we did that day while cuddling in the dark.  Say prayers. 

*Mommy takes Owen and puts him in his crib.  Then I open his door and turn on the night light in room across the hall (not too bright that way, but gives him some light so he's not scared).  Then mommy hugs and kisses, gets him cozy and leaves the room.

*He ALWAYS calls me back for 1 last kiss and hug.  :)  That's just part of our ritual.  It's only 1 time and I think it makes him feel like he's tricking me!  ::)

After last tricky hug and kiss I leave and that's that!
Title: Re: Toddler wind down routines
Post by: ~*Nicole*~ on November 18, 2009, 18:07:39 pm
Here's ours:

*Say nite nite to whoever is downstairs (daddy, doggies, any visitors lol)

*on bath nights, undress, do the bath (vitamin in the tub-chewable=colorful drool lol)

*to nursery to dry, put on pajamas (non-bath nights she gets her "chew chew" -vitamin during this part lol)

*back to bathroom to brush teeth

*back to room for "Goodnight Moon" (sleep sack on cold nights)

*a hug and a kiss and mommy lays her down and tucks her in, she asks for her bunny and I place it on her belly b/c she rubs it with her fingers.

*mommy says "nite nite, love you" DD says "luvahyou"

*mommy turns out the light, walks out and shuts the door leaving it slightly ajar

Done....when we don't have problems for whatever reason hehehehe
Title: Re: Toddler wind down routines
Post by: NoonieP on March 16, 2010, 20:40:56 pm
Also if she lies in her cot chatting and getting up and down for an hour should I get her up - is this type of rest considered ok?

My LO is a chatty one when it's bed or nap time. I leave him and he eventually falls asleep. Sometimes it does take an hour but as long as he's not crying, I'm ok with it. He does the same at night. Can chat for an hour, he even quiets down for 10 min or so and then starts up again. Again, as long as there's no tears, I'm leaving him in there. He can't hurt himself.

For nap time, we usually put on Thomas or something without dancing/music, dim the lights and have a few minutes of quiet time in Mommy and Dad's bedroom. I will tell him every few minutes that it's getting close to naptime and soon we'll be taking a nap. I also ask him if he wants to do something after his nap. He will say yes and I'll tell him he must go to sleep so we can do XX when he wakes up. (today we're going to Granny and Granddad's)

I do have to admint, I've been really lucky with LO and sleeping. He's such a good kid at going to bed.
Title: Re: Toddler wind down routines
Post by: *Jo* on June 13, 2010, 11:48:31 am
Caleb is 17 months old and weve had the same evening routine for about a year, we tried changing it slightly and having milk earlier before wind down in the room but found he wouldnt settle for bed so weve gone back and hes fine again, heres what we do

after dinner its bath time wiht Daddy, then Mummy dresses him and he runs around like a madman letting go of all his energy, then usually about 45min later we start our wind down at 6.40pm
go to bedroom, put on fresh diaper
put on sleep sack
brush teeth
have bedtime milk from sipper cup, sitting on Mums lap in the rocking chair with the lights dimmed
read two books together in the rocking chair
turn off light
cuddles while standing by the crib in the dark (if theres a small amount of light in his room he will not settle here)
say prayers
pop into bed, say goodnight sweetheart and leave

thats it, all in all about 20mins
Title: Re: Toddler wind down routines
Post by: kikoz on October 31, 2011, 18:18:30 pm
Hi lo is 2 and 2 months
Here is our bedtime routine
- 530 diner
- 6 to 7 activity time to get her tired
- 7 bath time,
- 720 - 730 pjs, brush hair, say goodnight to dad
- 730-750 /55 turn off lights, drink milk and water (this is the only way she would have her milk bottle) tell story, talk about day, pray , kiss and hug, leave room while she is still awake. She usually calls me back for another hug or drink.
- 8 asleep


Title: Re: Toddler wind down routines
Post by: Lewa2 on March 06, 2012, 11:27:08 am
We have a similar routine to many PP's:

5:30 Dinner
6:00 Bath
6:20 Dry off, naked play (very active to get rid of last bit of energy).
6:40 DS (2.5yrs) downstairs with milk and TV, DD (11 months) bottle, stories and bed in her bedroom
7:00 Brush DS teeth and go potty, sticker for good toilet training, nappy on and into bed
7:15 Lights off and "talk bout Zachy's day" which can go on for up to an hour (with mummy there, not by himself) as well as 2 or 3 more trips to the toilet (with wees - so don't want to limit this)

I've got a question for everyone - when do you fit in dinner for yourselves?  DH gets home around 6:30 - 7:00, so it's too late for him to join the kids, and I like to eat with him, but this often means we don't eat till 9:00 by the time Zach goes to sleep and we cook
Title: Re: Toddler wind down routines
Post by: kikoz on March 06, 2012, 18:38:44 pm
I personally prepare diner in the afternoon, so when dd is asleep we eat diner- usually between 8-830pm. A bit late but no other choice really.
Title: Re: Toddler wind down routines
Post by: *foxy* on April 03, 2012, 11:14:39 am
We're having BT issues (taking 45mins-1 hour to go to sleep) and its really interesting reading what everyone does to wind their LO's down at the end of the day. I thought we were alone with it taking so long! Its so good to hear that we're not! Our DD is very active after the bath and one mum has posted about 'naked play' which sounds great to get rid of that last bit of energy! I think I might try that! I might also try 'In The Night Garden' to see if that helps too!
Title: Re: Toddler wind down routines
Post by: trimbler on April 20, 2012, 19:12:37 pm
*foxy* - just wondering if you're experiencing '18mo sleep regression' Sounds very much like what we're getting and many others on that thread!

I was just wondering what people do with their spirited toddlers when OT at BT? My DS isn't classic spirited, but has always found it very difficult to switch off when too tired, and now gets extremely hyper! We haven't changed our BT routine much since DS was around 8-9mo, just the timings and books etc. Now, it's something like:

[exact timings depend on WU, nap, etc - we're not yet into a nice routine after the 2-1]
7pm nappy, prepare bath and generally give him warning that play time's nearly over
7:15 bath, dry and moisturise (can get v dry skin otherwise), into pj's
7:30 into sleeping bag, main lights off, bf, teeth and meds if needed (e.g. teething gel, Calpol, nasal spray)
7:50ish story time, then lamp off and short cuddle+prayer before PD around 8ish

Only now, there's lots of screeching, running around, bouncing in his cot, frantically trying to grab everything in sight, looking around for other books before we've finished the first one (when v tired I limit to just one, otherwise we may do two), just generally being so hyper. I keep trying to stay calm myself and tell him it's 'calm-down, sleepy time' etc etc, but not sure this has much impact when he's standing in his cot bouncing up and down with a crazy glint in his eye! He does seem to enjoy our little cuddle once I've turned the lights out, but however much he might seem to calm down during that time, he springs back into life as soon as he goes into his cot. And I am talking about times when he's definitely OT and there's absolutely no chance of UT - when UT he's certainly lively, but just not as hopelessly crazy!

Any tips?
Title: Re: Toddler wind down routines
Post by: *foxy* on April 20, 2012, 20:57:43 pm
Hi trimbler, thanks, yes Ive had a look on that thread. I THINK and hope and pray we've come out the other side. DD is almost 20mo now so its taken a while!

We've recently changed our wind down routine as we were getting exactly the same problems. It takes 1.5 hours but it seems to be working! DD is spirited so takes a long time to wind her down.

Bath 6pm-6.10pm (she asks to get out)
Into our bedroom where the curtains are drawn, its low lighting. Watch 'In the Night Garden' as we put nappy on, moisturise, pyjamas on and into sleeping bag. She has her milk quietly whilst watching the programme and then does her teeth. We say good night to all the characters as they go to bed.
6.40pm say goodnight to mummy or daddy and then into her room. It's dark apart from some low lights. We say goodnight sun on her grow clock and put on her night time music.
Read 1-2 books. Talk through her day then lights out. Cuddles and into her cot.
It takes around 30 mins for her to go to sleep, we stay with her still as we've found its not the right time for GW atm. Asleep 7.30pm

Have you tried a longer wind down time? It's so hard when they're wired at BT. Things like chamomile and lavender can be calming. I'm quite into alternative therapies atm! :)
Title: Re: Toddler wind down routines
Post by: cath~ on April 30, 2012, 18:58:25 pm
Hi foxy,

I just read your comment about chamomile and lavender and wondered if you'd had any luck with it?

When L was little (pre crawling) I used to massage her before bed and the oil was a calming blend including chamomile and lavender. I think it helped a lot. I had to stop though cos she wouldn't stay still for it but maybe I could try again now she's older... Or use the oil in some other way...  How do you use it?

I find it really hard to get L in a good relaxed stated before I PD for bed. She is always so alert and active at the moment!
Title: Re: Toddler wind down routines
Post by: *foxy* on April 30, 2012, 20:05:33 pm
Hi cathn

I put it in her bath sometimes or sprinkle it on a dark coloured cushion or something (its yellowy in colour so seemed to stain her sheets) and put it in her room whilst she was in the bath and close her door so when we went in there after the bath her room smelt of the oil. I found it very soothing and relaxing but I'm not sure if it helped her! Someone mentioned chamomile tea (made up very strongly) and putting it in the bath is supposed to help sooth and promote deep sleep. I haven't tried that. Rescue remedy night seems to help, I use it too and it definitely helps me.
Our DD is awful at BT, she's been particularly awful the last week. OT or OS is a big factor so we're still working on her routine and the wind down.
Title: Re: Toddler wind down routines
Post by: cath~ on May 01, 2012, 07:15:13 am
Hi foxy - thanks. You've got me all inspired to try that now. I might try adding some chamomile to L's bath and see if it helps. Sorry your BTs are so tough at the moment. Hope they get better soon. L went through a patch like that recently. They're still not great but improving gradually.. although the teething and SA isn't helping things!
Title: Re: Toddler wind down routines
Post by: *foxy* on May 01, 2012, 08:19:18 am
Yep, we've got SA too, so hard to deal with! Things are gradually getting better here too although not quickly enough! Good luck with your bedtimes, hope the chamomile helps.
Title: Re: Toddler wind down routines
Post by: cath~ on May 01, 2012, 20:00:00 pm
Put some chamomile in L's bath this eve and gave her a v quick mini massage with chamomile and lavender oil. Smelt lovely and she seemed to like it so will continue with this.

BT was horrible today though (after I PD) but that was for other reasons...

Was also doing some reading and frankincense is recommended as being another good one but the trouble is it's at least twice as expensive as the others...  Might splash out on it one day though.
Title: Re: Toddler wind down routines
Post by: *foxy* on May 01, 2012, 20:35:18 pm
Yeah these oils can cost the earth. Glad your DD liked the chamomile though, hope it helps when you haven't got other things going on.

The sense of smell can be very powerful so I also thought that if DD was used to that smell at BT it may help when we're staying away from home to hopefully comfort her if shes feeling a bit insecure being somewhere new, who knows. We didn't have a great BT either, SA definitely not helping! Good luck tonight
Title: Re: Toddler wind down routines
Post by: trimbler on May 04, 2012, 11:54:25 am
Interesting to hear about your experiences with oils - the only time I've ever tried anything like that was chamomile tea and lavender oil in DS bath when he had nappy rash! Might give the lavender oil a go to scent his room...

It's still taking ages for DS to wind down after PD, but we have tonsillitis and teething issues at the moment too so not really expecting too much just yet... I'm a bit wary of extending WD too much or we lose some flexibility if we're away/travelling and needing to have dinner out or something - a longer WD would mean having to rush back sooner or not getting to our destination in time to do the whole thing before he gets OT... But I guess if he needs it, he needs it! Kind of extended it a bit by trying to ensure he gets some 'physical' time (easier to go for a short walk outside now that it's lighter for longer) after dinner, then watching a few short films on youtube ('super simple songs')- which he loves and asks for at other times during the day but we try to limit it, then while I'm running his bath I let him select 2 books to read at bedtime and make sure that there are no other books in his room! When I manage to do this successfully, it's one less thing for him to get wound up about right before PD; when I forget to remove the other books, he's so desperate for more that when I say no I think it riles him and makes it harder for him to relax!

Still not sure about A times etc so may be getting this completely wrong but atm aiming for more sleep as he's ill. Will have to reassess once he's better!
Title: Re: Toddler wind down routines
Post by: 1stimer on December 08, 2012, 19:49:22 pm
One thing Ive noticed that has helped in the past week for our wind down is we try to do some calm play (no nosiy flashing toys with crazy music, no chasing each other around the house etc) starting 30min before we go upstairs to finish putting DD down. Ive found that I have to remind my husband about it more than I have to calm my daughter now (she definately gets all of her energy from him) and I stopped letting her watch the cartoons that are on at that time if they are too stimulating. We usually have it on one of two channels for background noise and music while we play in the living room etc but I read somewhere (cant remember) that the amount of screen changes that happen in a cartoon can really affect a childs mood, so the calmer the cartoon the better. And I have noticed a difference this week already!!! (knock on wood!!!!)
Title: Re: Toddler wind down routines
Post by: Mama_Mia on January 05, 2013, 23:26:18 pm
My DS is so spirited that you cant really wind him down. As long as he is up he wants to be going. But here is what we have done..

(18 months), Bath, Jammies, say goodnight to the sun, shut off all the lights in the house, rock and have bottle, then into bed.

(2yrs)  Bath, jammies then bottle while mommy rocked him and sang silent night. Finish his bottle then rocked another 5 minutes and into bed.

Now (2 yrs 2 months)  he has decided he LOVES mickey mouse clubhouse so we do the same routine except that after his bath and jammies, he gets to sit on the couch and watch Mickey Mouse for 30 minutes, then we do the bottle,rocking,singing and into bed.
Title: Re: Toddler wind down routines
Post by: dylansmum21 on January 29, 2014, 00:07:32 am
Any tips for winding down a very active (physically and mentally) toddler (21 months) who will not settle to bed?

He finishes dinner between 5:45/6pm then daddy comes home which I think hypes him up as he wants to play with him and they like the rough, tickly play.

He's started asking to go in the bath which he stays in for anything between 15-45 mins depending on his mood but after this he just will not settle so I'm wondering if he's not getting enough wind down time?

We usually do nursery after bath for nappy and pj's then he lays in his bed and has his bottle, we sit with him (he used to fall asleep with us sat there) but then he just finishes his milk, gets up from bed, plays around, sings, chats, cries whenever we put him back in bed, flicks the plugs by his bed and it takes over an hour (and a lot of frustration and tears) to get him to sleep
Title: Re: Toddler wind down routines
Post by: MarciaMSPT on March 31, 2015, 01:07:55 am
Wondering - my 21.5 month old will scream if I were to put him in his crib before he was asleep (in my arms).  This started at about 18 months.  Do they grow out of that?  I read so many littles here talk themselves to sleep - how do I get to that point with our wind down (which lasts about 45 minutes at times).
Title: Re: Toddler wind down routines
Post by: cath~ on April 14, 2015, 13:30:35 pm
Hello - sorry you didn't get a reply. 

I think that some LOs can grow out of it but it can take a while.  IME, simply changing your wind down routine won't necessarily help on its own.  If you would like him to be able to settle independently in his cot then you may have to do some gentle sleep training.  Is that something you'd be interested in?  You say it started at 18 months - did he settle by himself before?  If not, then Gradual Withdrawal would probably be the best method for you to try.  It's explained more here:
Toddlers: Walk In/Walk Out vs. The Gradual Withdrawal Method (HOW TO CHOOSE)

If you have more questions after reading that then please do start your on thread with your questions on the Sleeping for Toddlers board:
Sleeping For Toddlers

The ladies here are great and you'll be sure to get some helpful advice :)
Title: Re: Toddler wind down routines- for two children
Post by: Twosweetgirls on July 01, 2016, 05:35:48 am
hey! Any ideas for a routine for putting two kids down at one time? I have an older child, 4, who has been really good at going to sleep after our routine, but my second child, 20 months, has never found sleep easy.  We are at least at the point where she sleeps the night, and falls asleep at nap time well.  The girls sleep in a room together so it really makes sense to put them to sleep at the same time. I've done this long enough so the younger one is thrown and sad harder to put to sleep if the older one isn't there.  Always, I am pregnant and frustrated with the second child's go-to-sleep needs at night.  Does anyone have a routine for a spirited child along with an older child?
Title: Re: Toddler wind down routines
Post by: cath~ on July 05, 2016, 09:11:35 am
sorry you haven't had any replies.  This thread is pretty quiet now.  You might get more ideas and people seeing your post if you start your own thread with the same question. :)