Bedtime Routine??? - Fresno,CA

Updated on December 31, 2008
T.L. asks from Fresno, CA
7 answers

My daughter is two, and normally for bedtime, I would change her for bed, have her pick her books, read for a half hour, turn off the lights, and lay with her until she would fall asleep. Recently though, our routine has not been working so well.... when it comes time to change into pjs we sometimes have a full out brawl =s she refuses to put her jammies on because she associates them with bedtime. so a simple task, like putting on pajamas, can take an hour, because i want to be consistant and to not give in to her fit throwing. so my question is, does anyone know of a simple bedtime routine, that i can use, to try to mix things up, and maybe even make her look forward to getting ready for bed? thanks in advance!!

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answers from San Francisco on

Dear Trish,

Get some nightgowns(they are easier to slip over her little head), no story until the gown or pajamas are on (without a fuss), teeth are brushed, and she’s gone potty (if you are training her at this time), drink of water, etc.

At bedtime ask your daughter to go pick out a storybook and as soon as she’s in her gown and the other nighttime tasks are done you will read to her. If she’s misbehaving, tell her there will be no story and she must go right to bed.

Keep the same bedtime

Read for only 15 – 20 minutes

Do not lay with her until she falls asleep

Tuck her in, say prayers, kiss goodnight and tell her you will see her in the morning

Get a cute night-light that she can focus on.

Above all,you’re the Mama and you’re in charge.

Blessings....and Happy 2009

1 mom found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

I definitely agree with the moms that mentioned giving choices. My son was tricky that way, but it really helped to say, do you want the red pjs or the blue ones? In fact, he's 3 1/2 now and that still works.

I would also say be careful about laying with her until she falls asleep. I have a friend that does that and her son is almost 4. He now takes over an hour to fall asleep and still won't if she's not in the room laying with him. I think it's harder when they go to sleep knowing you're there and wake up and you're gone. On the other hand, I really believe that you should stick with what works for you!

Good luck! Let us know what happens!



answers from San Francisco on

My daughter LOVES bed time. She gets excited about it and I think it's mostly because I'm consistent with what happens and when it happens. She likes to know what's going on and when, its the way she is.
We start with a bath at 7, most nights (6:30 if she napped badly or seems REALLY tired). She plays in the tub for about 15 minutes, or until she is done or stands up 3 times (I give her a warning each time). Then we go off to the changing table where we put lotion on and put her in her pj's. It's fun, we wiggle toes, tickle tummies and talk. Then I put her down where she meets me in the bathroom for teeth brushing. She brushes for a couple minutes, then she screams while I try to brush her teeth (we're still working on this, some days she doesn't mind, other days she does). Then she has some water, fluoride and back in her room to pick out 2 books. We sit in the rocking chair read the books, then she gets tons of kisses and hugs from me before her and bunny go to bed (or run out and give daddy a hug and kiss, if he's home). I end every night by blowing her 3 kisses and telling her that I love her and I will see her in the morning, and by morning not 2 or 3 am, 7 or 8 will work =O)
What time does she go to bed? My guess is she may be getting over tired then melting down before bed.
Best of luck,



answers from San Francisco on

At this age the sense of control is key for her, so I would add in lots of little choices you can live with. Do you want to wear these PJs or this nightgown? Put the pants or the shirt on first? Brush teeth with green toothbrush or pink toothbrush? Which book? Which lullabies? Mix up up on HER terms and she might be more cooperative. Also, little challenges: can you finish choosing by the time I go fill up your water cup? I am always amazed how my kids will race to do something, and they are 6 and 4.



answers from Sacramento on

I don't know anything about your daughter's personality, but she sounds like she might be a little like my son in that she doesn't like to lose control of the situation. If you aren't already, try giving her a 10 or 5 minute warning that bedtime is coming.

You might try working with her to make a chart of her bedtime routine. Find pictures in magaizes etc and have her help decorate the chart.

1) Jammies

Let her direct the routine by looking at her chart. "Okay, you've got your jammies on, what's next?" She can use the chart to tell you.

Also, I'd recommend cutting the routine down substantially, 30 mintues of reading then laying with her sounds like you're doing about an hour long bedtime. If you keep bedtime short and sweet, your little one will see less room for stalling. (Try reading just one or two books, lay with her while you sing a song or recite her day, then get out of there).

hope this helps,

Good luck.



answers from Sacramento on

WE used to bathe them at night also. They liked to play in the tub for a while with toys, or bath crayons, then we would do the book thing, and stay with them until they fell asleep. The bath might help relax her some also.



answers from San Francisco on

Even at 2 yrs ours had finagled 3 stories a night out of us. Then, and still, we will begin to take away stories if she is disobedient at bedtime. The key, as with everything else, is to follow through on threats, otherwise they do no good. Now if she tries to squirrel herself away all I have to do is ask "how many stories are you going to get tonight?" Majority of the time this gets her going. I do take away a story if she insists on being super naughty, and when she throws the inevitible fit we talk about how hopefully she will get all 3 tomorrow- but we do NOT go back and give in. Granted, it takes a lot for her to loose that story, but once it is gone, it is gone. Honestly we have never gone without any stories, that would cause waaay too much drama for bedtime! Like I said, it takes her being relentlessly naughty to loose a story.
About a year ago, when she was your daughters age, she went through the most hellacious stage at bedtime!! As a matter of fact my sister was here and commented on how well she went down to sleep and we were just talking about that stage where she was IM-POSSIBLE at bedtime. It will pass, it is a difficult stage, hang in there and keep your patience by clinging to the notion that you will be able to look back on this stage one day!

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