The Bedtime Routine


The Bedtime Routine

A good bedtime routine is important for your baby or toddler to help establish a good sleep pattern. Doing the same things at the same time, in the same order will give your child security in what comes next and will them help relax ahead of their sleep. Allow plenty of time for the bedtime routine so your child doesn’t feel rushed and make sure they have been well fed at dinner.

  1. Preparation

Get everything ready for the bath time and bedtime routine, get pyjamas out, boil the kettle ready for baby’s bottle, get the towels ready etc. Close the curtains and blinds, so your child gets used to the darker room, especially in the summer when the evenings are still light, This will ensure you have everything required to hand and you won’t have to leave baby or child unattended to get things.

  1. Bathtime

If you are bathing two children together, I always recommend getting the older one in first, then undressing the younger child and then get them in the bath. Bath time should be nice and relaxing, but having bath toys makes it much for fun for all! When its time to get out, get the younger child out first followed by the older child. Please remember never to leave a child unattended in the bath, which is why its vital to ensure that your bath time preparation has been done! You may choose to carry out some baby massage or tummy time once your baby has got out of the bath, before they then get dressed.

  1. Storytime / Milk time

Older children love story time and it is such a lovely time of the day. It’s nice to let your child choose the books, but your child should be winding down now so I would recommend books and stories that won’t lead to the child running and jumping around the room with excitement! Give your child plenty of warning of when the story time is coming to and end. When they have two books remaining say ‘last two books then teeth cleaning then bed’ and in the final book ‘once this has finished its time to go to sleep’ This means that your child won’t have any surprises and will have the understanding that bedtime is coming up!  If your child has milk before bed, during story time would be the best time to give it to them.  Give you baby their bottle at this time too, despite their young age I’m sure they would love to hear a story or songs too! Once the bottle has been finished, burp your baby well to avoid any trapped wind.

  1. Teeth cleaning and toilet

Once your child has finished their books and milk, head to the bathroom for teeth cleaning and a final toilet trip. If your child isn’t a fan of teeth cleaning then do take a look at my recent video on that! Going to the toilet straight before bedtime will help them stay dry through the night.

  1. Goodnight Cuddles

Once teeth and toilet have been done head back into your child’s room for some final goodnight cuddles, I often use this opportunity to discuss with the child what we’ve done that day or the plans for tomorrow. After a few minutes when it’s time for lights out, say good night, love you lots etc. Upon leaving the room I usually tell the child what I’m going to do e.g. ‘Im just going to go and make a cup of tea then I will be back to check on you in 5 minutes’ . This works well as you are giving your child a reason as why your leaving the room and you are reassuring them that you will return.

With a baby give them some nice good night cuddles and put baby in their cot, If your baby has music on or a mobile put this on too help them go off to sleep. The best thing to do is put your baby in their cot when they are drowsy but not sleep, helping them to learn how to fall asleep by themselves.

Hopefully keeping the routine simple, whilst doing the same thing each night will relax your child and will help promote a good nights sleep. If you do have any further questions about the bedtime routine for your child’s sleep, then feel free to contact me via my Facebook page or website.


Holly Poppins is a qualified English nanny with over 10 years of childcare experience. She has cared for newborns, toddlers, school aged children twins, children with allergies,  children with behaviour difficulties…the list could go on an on!

Holly writes, films and produces weekly videos for her YouTube channel ‘Holly Poppins’ and write blogs offering parenting tips  advice and support, covering a whole range of topics including potty training, overcoming sleep issues, fussy eating and general parenting tips.

Take a look at her Youtube channel

Or her website

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