Establishing a Bedtime Routine

It can be hard to find a good bedtime routine that works, at least it was for me. We went through many different bedtime routines. 

Once my little one reached about 18 months, books became an important part of our bedtime routine.

This post contains “affiliate links”. This means that I may receive a small commission, at no cost to you, if you subscribe or purchase something through the links.  See our privacy and disclosures for more information.

At first, we would just read whatever books she wanted. This was fine, until we found ourselves in a battle over how many books we were reading. Bed time has to happen without reading every book in our personal library!

So, we put together our favorite books that are geared just towards bedtime. You can check these all out below:

Goodnight Gorilla  

Good Night, I Love You

The Going to Bed Book 

Goodnight Moon

We read these four books every night. I feel like it has helped our bedtime routine reading the same books in the same order each night. Our daughter knows that when the last book is done it’s time for bed, and for the most part now she cooperates with it.

Here is our nightly routine:

  • Diaper change and change into pajamas
  • Turn on Scout’s bedtime music for 15 minutes
  • We sit together in our rocking chair and read our four books
  • Sing a few songs, Twinkle Twinkle and Your are my Sunshine are our usual songs
  • Brush teeth and then get in the crib

Now a bonus adults only bedtime book! If you haven’t heard of this book, it’s definitely not for kids (there’s profanity if you couldn’t guess) but for the parents of kids who will not sleep.

Go the F**k to Sleep

Other Tips for the Bedtime Routine

  • Start bedtime before the kids are overtired. The Baby Sleep Site has a great chart with suggested bedtimes by age. 
  • Limit television/screen time before bed. I’ve heard this for adults too, the light can contribute to difficulties sleeping.
  • Have a consistent routine. This helps the kids know what to expect and hopefully makes bedtime easier.
  • But also be willing to be flexible. Babies and toddlers change and the bedtime routine will need to be adjusted as they get older.
  • Not really a bedtime routine, but always practice safe sleep. The CDC has recommendations you can check out here.

I hope you found something helpful here! Please share any other tips you have for bedtime in the comments below!

Sign up to get updates!

If you liked this post, be sure to sign up so you can be the first to hear about new posts!

Please wait...

Thank you for sign up!

If you liked this post you should check out:

Time Management Tips that Every Parent Needs

Self Care Series Part One

Toddler Approved Smoothies