My 2 year old goes to bed..... - Mothering Forums

View Poll Results: My 2 year old goes to sleep:
By themselves after a bedtime routine 5 100.00%
With/next to a parent after bedtime routine 13 100.00%
Nurses to sleep after a bedtime routine 10 100.00%
We also have no real bedtime routine 3 75.00%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 4. You may not vote on this poll

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#1 of 9 Old 09-28-2012, 12:14 PM - Thread Starter
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Can we talk about bedtime routines? What do your routines look like, how long do they take? how long before bedtime do you eat? are all days the same? What would you say are the most important aspects?


I am embararessed to admit that we have almost no routine.  Up until now it hasn't seemed to be a huge problem, but it really takes a long time for DS to settle down and I am getting to the point where I need a bit of a change.  There is a slight problem though; my husband and I share a car, and his work schedule isn't particularly reliable.  He can catch the train home and we can get back by 6:15, or not until 8.  We are working on keeping two days where DH works late and the other 3 days he comes home "early", but there is still a lot of variation. 


So right now, whatever time we get home, we all eat (even if DS and I have already eaten, DS has taken to having a late second dinner.  At this point, it is one of the only meals he has consistently eaten, so I don't want to mess with his eating too much....yet).  After some horsing around with DH while I clean up the dishes, DH will get him into his diaper and jammies and then sometimes DS brushes teeth with me, and sometimes DH does the brushing.  Then we say goodnight to daddy, and I bring DS to bed and nurse him to sleep.  This can take a while because usually DS is still pretty worked up about hanging out with DH, but at the same time it's getting late.  So his wind down time is nursing.  I want this to change, but I am not sure really how to make up a routine.  My DH I think feels insecure about fathering outside of play (i.e. feels silly reading books).  I think that this will change as DS gets older and is able to relate a bit more to DH. Bedtime used to be around 8, but is now closer to 9, or even 9:30 some nights, although it still can take some time for him to settle.  We get up every morning at 7.  This weird bedtime stuff makes the timing of DS's naps kind of wonky some days.  I think that he should be going to bed earlier, but he really treasures the time with DH.  Luckily, has has started taking longer naps recently to compensate.  All that being said, all of this has never been a huge problem for DS, so I don't think he is a schedule oriented kid, but I do think that something of a wind down routine would be beneficial...Thoughts??

     Mommy to DS born 11-10-10  wave.gifAnd DD born 6-3-13 baby.gif  

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#2 of 9 Old 09-30-2012, 07:53 PM
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I'm bumping up your post for attention. bump.gif Anyone have a recommendation to share?

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#3 of 9 Old 09-30-2012, 08:09 PM
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From somewhere around a year on our night time routine was bath with DH (or if he wasn't home I'd do it) brush teeth, 2 books, nurse for a few minutes, then rock to sleep. As she started needing less nursing to sleep we transitioned to singing songs in bed in the dark then sleep (after bath/teeth/books) One of us still sits in the room with her while she falls asleep (which can take anywhere from 10 minutes to an hour depending on how tired she is/who is the one putting her to sleep. But she knows the routine and knows what comes next so I think she enjoys it.


also- on nights she seems really over energetic (usually she' overtired) we do a few minutes of bouncing on the bed to "get the crazies out" before it is time to be quiet and still for bedtime.

Mama to  Hadley (2/10) energy.gif& Sawyer (1/13) babyboy.gif familybed1.gif


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#4 of 9 Old 10-04-2012, 06:50 AM - Thread Starter
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Oh Thanks you guys for replying! I just found out I am pregnant, so that is why I was having such an aversion to the nursing to sleep thing...feeling more in control of the situation now!!

And I love the idea of letting the kids "get the crazies out" when they have the extra energy!

     Mommy to DS born 11-10-10  wave.gifAnd DD born 6-3-13 baby.gif  

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#5 of 9 Old 10-10-2012, 01:54 PM
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Our son is 28 months.  Next one is due to arrive in 6 months.


About a month ago we implemented a more structured evening routine, and it seems to have helped to some degree:



2 Boardgames (we have a large collection, and he can play with up to 2 of his choice for ~30 mins)

2 books / stories

10-20 mins video (during which his teeth are flossed/brushed)

Bedtime (this is usually 8-8:30 p.m.)


At bedtime, we used to have a lot of problems with him fighting against sleep, singing, talking, and staying up another hour.  As of yesterday we adapted as follows: we crawled into bed together, hugs and kisses for all (including Bellybaby, with whom he's great so far), said goodnight, and stopped talking.  Caresses and humming were still ok, but nothing verbal.  He was asleep, without resistance, in 18 minutes.  We'll see if it stays as successful in the days to come.


One wrinkle in the plan: he's started resisting bathtime.  I suspect because he knows it's the beginning of the end-of-the-day routine.  I've found myself forcing him into the tub/shower (with me or his mother).  I don't much like myself when I do it, but try to make it as quick as possible (2-3 mins).  Once he's wrapped in a towel, getting hugs and lotion, he seems to settle.


Eager to hear more in this thread.

Dad to toddler, dad-to-be to another.

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#6 of 9 Old 10-10-2012, 02:57 PM
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So, bedtime routine for my 29 month old, since about a year old (so a year and a half of this routine), has been 



3 books with non-nursing mom and special song w/ non nursing mom that lets me know I'm due upstairs :)

nursing with me (other mom, we moved nursing from the LAST thing we did to this spot when he was about a year)

teeth brushing

"God blesses"

Puff the magic dragon (sung)

Twinkle Twinkle


Then we say good night, give kisses and leave the room.  He falls asleep soon after.  He weaned a month ago, but the routine is the same w/o the nursing.

  Two moms and two boys enjoying the truth that love always wins!!!  joy.gifjoy.gifpartners.gif

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#7 of 9 Old 10-16-2012, 10:06 AM
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We just added something new to our routine about three weeks ago. The timing changes from day to day, and I wish it was more set, but it works okay for now.



Brush teeth, comb hair


One book

Mama comes in

Light a candle, lights out

Bedtime snack, cinnamon milk and bread with honey

Talk about our blessings

Brush teeth again

Mommy gets kisses and leaves

Mama nurses E to sleep, then leaves (most of the time)


The candlelight and warm milk seem to give her a focus that she has to be still for, and calm her pretty easily. Even when traveling we take little tea light candle with us and have our routine there as well.  It has definitely calmed the running around, bouncy, crazy, energetic, screaming, falling down, getting hurt two year old nuttiness. She doesn't fight getting jammies on or getting into bed anymore, which is great.  Now the nursing to sleep part? That isn't always as great/quick.. but at least it's calm and quiet. 

K, H, and baby E (who is now three!!!)
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#8 of 9 Old 10-31-2012, 03:23 PM
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Our routine with our nearly 3 year old has been the same for a long time now and generally starts the same time every night (of course there are exceptional nights) whether it's mama or papa putting her to bed

5.30/6 (her) dinner

6.30 bath - this often is quite long & she plays alot - it seems to be her really winding down/transitioning time

wrap up in towel, brush teeth, jammies on

(oh yes, there's usually some jumping on the bed in there too)

2-3 story books, depending how tired - usually after the 2nd book she just lies down of her own accord

a bit of chatting & lots of hugs & kisses (this part of the routine is her own design :) )

we used to lie with her til she fell asleep & she would really prefer that, but thankfully this summer she started putting herself to sleep

she self-weaned about 6 months ago. before that there was a nurse too, after the bath

our daughter seems to like routine, although I hadn't thought I'd be a routine oriented parent. maybe yours is different - if what you're doing is working for you guys don't worry what others are doing :)

good luck!

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#9 of 9 Old 11-01-2012, 12:51 PM - Thread Starter
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Yes! Bedtime routines are such an individual thing...thanks for the pep talk winky.gif


In the past week or so DS has really seemed to hit a new "place" so to speak.  He is starting to dictate his own routine at night (as well as other things), and DH and I are running with it.  It's definitely going to be some work to get him to sleep without nursing (although, he does do things in giant leaps, so maybe not), but is something I feel like I need to do before baby comes. 


I really like the idea of lighting a candle that a PP mentioned, I know that would work for me!


Thanks again for all of the input!

     Mommy to DS born 11-10-10  wave.gifAnd DD born 6-3-13 baby.gif  

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