Before we jump into out bedtime routine, I want to also share that MightyNest, one of my favorite online shops is offering a $100 gift certificate to one lucky reader to their amazing online shop full of eco-friendly goods. If you win, a school of your choice will also be awarded $100!
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A predictable bedtime routine can be one of the most important factors for promoting healthy sleep for children and adults alike.
Most of us are really good at prioritizing this for our kids, as we see how effective it is. But, we don’t think to do it for ourselves, myself included! I encourage you to think about adding a predictable, bedtime routine to your life. Even if it is something really small. I find that if I am consistent with adding a drop of Frankincense essential oil (which is amazing for your skin!) to my face serum every night, it really helps. The scent triggers my mind that it’s bedtime and I then start to feel sleepy.
This is how we do bedtime for our 2.5 year old:
1. Be consistent with bedtime
If you consistently go to bed around the same time, your body will start winding down naturally. Of course, there are the occasional exceptions. But, if we are generally consistent, this works really well.
2. 30 minutes to 1 hour before bed, dim lights and turn off electronics (T.V., phones, etc.)
The blue light from screens disrupts our ability to effectively release our sleep hormones. Sometimes, it is hard with children as they go to bed much earlier. My daughter goes to bed around 6:30/7. We still follow this rule for her and then once we put her down, we turn the lights back on and get on with our evening.
This has worked really well for us. She often comments that it is starting to feel dark, so she needs to go to sleep. We don’t do baths every night, but when we do baths before bed. We actually use candles to really help her unwind. Bathroom lights can be really bright.
We love these 100% pure beeswax candles from Mighty Nest. We really aim to reduce toxins in our house, especially with our little one. I only recommend pure beeswax candles. As my friend Lauren at Empowered Sustenance writes:
“Regular candles,” i.e. that bag of tealights you can buy for five bucks, are made from paraffin. As the name implies, paraffin candles are made from paraffin wax, a by-product of petroleum refining. The result? A highly toxic (and environmentally unfriendly) product that literally poisons the air you breathe.Paraffin wax starts as the sludge at the bottom of the barrel of crude oil. Even asphalt is extracted before paraffin in the refining process! The black sludge, already filled with numerous toxins, undergoes bleaching and treatment by carcinogens benzene and/or toulene.”
3. Spend time doing quiet activities that help your little one relax.
Kid’s are excited about life, which is awesome. But, I find if my daughter spends time right before bed, jumping around and playing really physical, exciting games, she has a hard time winding down. Just like how we can’t come home from a fun party or working a shift at a restaurant and go right to sleep (or at least that was the case for me when I was a server).
4. Pajama time!
If we let bedtime run late, pajama time becomes so chaotic. Indy runs away and hides and thinks it’s so funny. This is how I know, she is over-tired. If I catch her at the right time, it goes smoothly and she helps put on her PJs.
When I was pregnant, I had this idea that all the clothes I would buy for Indyanna would be organic cotton. Then, I had a child and saw how she grew so fast. However, we did continue to prioritize organic bedding and pajamas. At 2.5, She spends an average of 13 hours sleeping. That is a long time. So, it’s important that she is not inhaling any chemicals.
We love the organic pajamas from Mighty Nest. They are super cozy. You can see Indy wearing them below and you can check out all of their available styles here.
We also invested in an organic mattress. Conventional mattress are often treated with flame retardants and various chemicals. Our little ones faces are right there on that mattress for 10-16 hours a day, inhaling any off-gassing fumes. Mighty Nest offers a great variety of organic mattresses here and sheets here.
Mighty Nest now offers full-size organic mattress too. We are saving up to by one! You can check out their organic mattresses here and their organic bedding here. I can’t wait to get the wool comforter!
5. Teeth brushing time!
Commercial toothpastes come with a long listing of unsafe ingredients, including some natural brands. We love this toothpaste from Mighty Nest. The ingredients are all safe and Indyanna loves the organic raspberry flavor!
6. Some relaxing balm before bed!
We love to include a special unwinding time before bed, where Indyanna lays down in her dim room and we apply some balm to the bottom of her feet. We usually make our own with coconut oil and essential oils, but Mighty Nest sent us this Organic Badger Balm to try and we have really been liking it.
Indy loves getting this little massage and the scents of the essential oils help her relax.
7. Tell her a story about her day
Most children really enjoy a recap of their day. If the child gets excited by this, then it might be best to do it earlier in the bedtime routine. Indy likes to hear about where she went, what she played and who she played with.
After a little story and a snuggle, we place her in her crib with her favorite “friends” as she calls them. Again, we try to only allow organic and natural stuffed animals in her sleep space. We love Penny the Pig from Mighty Nest!
She tends to fall asleep quickly and we usually don’t hear from her again until morning.
I know the above may seem like a lot to do, but it is actually a really, enjoyable, fun way for our entire family to unwind at the end of the day and spend time together. If you haven’t implemented a bedtime routine for your child, I highly recommend giving it a try!