Our Bedtime Routine + Tips for helping your kids develop good sleep habits

*Disclosure:  I received complimentary products from Wonder Bumpers for the purpose of this post.*  


I remember a few weeks not so long ago when I spent time every day crying because Charlie would not nap.  Bedtime was a struggle, nap time was a struggle, it wasn’t going well at all.  I knew that I needed to find something that I could live with that would work for him and eliminate the crying and frustration for both of us.  Reminding myself each time that shutting the door and leaving the room, even with him crying, was better than yelling at him was tough, but very necessary.  As I would sit in his room, I was reminded of going through a similar phase with Maggie.

Sleep Habits In my opinion, your sleep situation is only a problem if it is a problem for your family, and it had become one.  I toughed it out and used the things I knew to get through this and get him sleeping again.  It seemed more of a challenge with Charlie because Maggie generally just did what she was asked.  She did not continuously get out of bed and come downstairs.  Not the case this time, and I had to find a way to get it to work.  Then I could work on transitioning him into the other bedroom before the baby was born.  Trial, error, and time eventually worked for us.  Now, here is what our nap time and bedtime routines look like.

Charlie - sleep


Turn on a 1/2 hour show for Maggie {usually pre-recorded}.  Take Charlie upstairs, turn on the sound machine, we read around 3 books, go potty one last time if needed, sing a few songs, then say our prayers.  Hugs and kisses.  Then, he lays there with his Scout dog playing song after song.  Suddenly, Scout is on his belly and he is asleep.  I stay for just a little bit sitting next to him until he is calmed down and will stay in his bed, but sometimes, he falls asleep quickly.


Scout and Violet

Go downstairs and play a game with Maggie.  She has usually picked out a board game or some sort of game that she wants to play.  When the game is done, we read a few books, go potty, then head up to bed.  We sing a song or two, say our prayers, and give her kisses and hugs.  As I walk out and shut the door partway, we blow kisses again and say I love you’s.  Maggie almost always goes to sleep quite quickly.

Maggie sleep

Here are a few tips that may or may not work for you.  Remember, every child is different and may respond and need different things to fall asleep.  Charlie is my fidgeter.  He has to do something.  Maggie calmly rolls over and closes her eyes.


  • Lay your child down awake.  A little fussing for a few minutes may just help them calm down and fall asleep on their own.  {I suck at this}
  • Play soft music or white noise.  I have a lullaby machine that I play for the kids at night and at nap time.  I feel like starting the music when we sit down to read signals to them that it is quiet time and calm down time.
  • Have a consistent routine.  What exactly that routine will be will likely vary by family, and even by child. Keep it short and consistent.
  • Have a lovey or something for comfort.  A blanket, stuffed pet, whatever it may be.  Keep in mind, it should be age appropriate and safe {ex.  no blankets, stuffed pets, etc as babies}
  • Bedtime massage.  I’ve never been too good at this.  I do, however, rub their feet with lavender, gentle baby or peace & calming essential oil when I remember or they remind me.  They love the oils, I just forget a lot.
  • Play around with the actual timing of bedtime.  If what you are doing isn’t working, maybe all that needs to change is the timing.  Perhaps you are waiting too long and they are getting that dreaded second wind, or are overtired and have trouble falling asleep.  Maybe you are laying them down too early and they aren’t tired yet.  If it isn’t working, try a small change and see what happens.  Don’t make a decision overnight, give it a few weeks if possible to see if the change is working.
  • Look for signs of sleepiness.  Watch your child.  Are they beginning to rub their eyes?  Then it’s bedtime.  You know your child, watching their behaviors will clue you in to when the best time is for laying them down for a good night sleep.
  • Give them a safe, comfortable place to sleep.  As babies, this means get the stuff out of the crib.  They don’t need blankets, pillows, animals, etc.  That is why we love the Wonder Bumpers.  They are amazing, adorable, and completely safe.  You can check out my original review of them here.

Wonder Bumpers I remember our original crib bumper set.  I tried to fit it on our crib and there was a section that never quite tied in place and would lay into the crib a little.  It didn’t feel safe to me, so when I heard about Wonder Bumpers, I was in LOVE!  The designs are so adorable, plus, you can get 3 different looks with each set.  If that isn’t fun enough, you can order different pieces to change it up more.

Wonder Bumpers

Wonder Bumpers really are amazing.  You simply zip them onto each crib slat.  It is more time consuming to set up then traditional bumpers, but very worth it because of how safe they are.

Wonder Bumpers  I love that even when I transitioned Charlie into a toddler bed, I could leave the Wonder Bumpers on the crib.  The set comes complete with a blanket, bedskirt and sheet, so it will grow with your baby into their toddler years.  Aside from just the bumpers, you can get teething guards, blankets, or just about anything to match your nursery.  I know when I lay my baby down in the crib with Wonder Bumpers, that they will be safe while they sleep.


Buy it:  If you are ready to pick up some Wonder Bumpers of your own, use code SHANNON10 for a 10% discount.  {discount excludes sale items}.


What are your sleep tips?  What has worked or hasn’t worked for you?  Were all of your kids different?

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