Evening routine with young children

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Have you ever wondered why your little ones’ nighttime routine isn’t working, even though you’ve tried everything?

For some dads, the nighttime routine can be a challenge. Children at this time are tired and less receptive to what we tell them.

Many times in our search for the perfect routine, we try one new strategy after another, without seeing the results we want. The key is to be patient and consistent, and it will be in our patience that we will find the routine that best suits our children and us. It’s as if we went to the gym and on the third day without seeing results, we moved to another gym and then another.

We must be aware that it will take several weeks of consistency for a routine to work, and for the child to be able to predict each night what is going to happen, step by step. Consistency will give you security and peace, and this will lead you to have a successful and harmonious routine.

After considering the aspect of consistency, we must observe and identify what is not working and determine what and how we want to achieve it.

We offer you these tips that will help you establish a successful nighttime routine:

  1. Adjust our expectations and focus on the child’s rhythm:
    The routine must work for both the parents and the child, but ultimately it is the child’s routine and the times must be adjusted to their rhythm. By adjusting to these, we will be able to enjoy our little one and see routine time as an opportunity to connect with them, instead of seeing it as a task that takes up time and stresses us out. Take your time!
  2. Establish a schedule:
    Be clear about the time the routine starts and try not to change the time. Children at this age need between 11 and 12 hours of sleep.Starting early is a good idea!
  3. Prepare the environment:
    Have everything ready before starting: bathroom items, basket to store bath toys, pajamas, toothbrush, stories, etc.
  4. Establish the routine.
    For example: first he has dinner, he bathes, he dresses at his own pace, he brushes his teeth, we read him a story, he goes to bed and the light goes out, we sing a song and he goes to sleep.The routine following the child’s rhythm.
  5. Concrete guide to the routine:
    Create a book with photos or laminated photos (preferably of your child) of each step so that they can visualize their routine. Pue* Link to books on Amazon.
  6. Songs:
    Have songs (with the appropriate duration and chosen by the adult) that the child recognizes and knows that it is the song when he brushes his teeth, or it is the song that we sing while he gets dressed, etc. Always the same song according to the step of the routine.
  7. Offer options:
    Always give two options to help the child make decisions and feel like they have control of what happens.For example, choosing between 2 pajamas or choosing between 2 books. This way you give him the power to decide, he chooses the book and knows that, when he finishes, he has to move on to the next step.

    And finally, don’t interrupt your little one’s concentration and rhythm. It is better to be patient and flexible with those extra 5 minutes, and thus avoid a power struggle.

Now to enjoy!!

Time passes very quickly, and even if you don’t see it nearby right now, the day will come when you will miss these moments.