The freedom is so close you can almost taste it.
The vision of you cozied up under a warm blanket in your recliner watching a new episode of your favorite trashy reality show while drinking a glass of wine begins to fill your head.
If anyone was wondering, my trashy reality shows of choice would be The Bachelor, Jersey Shore, or Teen Mom. I can’t help myself.
And the sound…oh the sweet sound… of silence.
No babies crying.
No toddlers whining.
Just relaxing and living your best mom life.
Sure, we all love our kids to pieces but I think we can all agree that after a long, exhausting day of listening to your 2-year-old sing The Farmer in the Dell 734 times and removing a sock from your teething 10-month-old’s mouth every 5 seconds, we are ready to kick up our feet and zone out!
But of course, your kids won’t let you off the hook that easy.
When 7:00pm rolls around, they are suddenly ready to party!
They do everything in their power to drag out their bedtime routine as long as possible and keep you from your beloved “mommy time.”
Well, what if I told you that with a few simple tweaks to your night routine, you could enjoy that “mommy time” a lot sooner? That you could bypass 90% of the toddler defiance and move through your routine smoothly?
Check out how you can do that by reading my response to a reader’s question below!
How to Encourage Your Toddler to be Calm and Obedient at Bedtime
Our toddler gets super silly and disobedient at bedtime, and I don’t know what to do! He’s 2 (will be 3 in May) and thinks putting his toys away, coming when called, etc. is a joke. He’s great the rest of the day… and it’s not a specific time it seems to start; rather, it’s as soon as we start bedtime routine. How can I encourage him to be calm and obedient?
Bedtime can be tough! They wanna stay up and play but mom and dad are ready for some peace and quiet!
Try keeping activity really low about 30 minutes before starting the bedtime routine. I know sometimes at our house my husband thinks having tickle fights and running around the house with our toddler is a great idea right before bed…but that always backfires lol. Try reading books, playing low key games, or anything that doesn’t rev him up.
Another thing is to really focus on immediate follow through of your demands. So when you want him to put his toys away, go over to him, get down on his eye level and say “I need you to clean up your toys.” If he laughs and runs away, then take him back to the toys and say “I need you to put your toys away. I’ll help you.” And then put the toys away together. Don’t give him more than 1 chance to complete your demand.
Most toddlers love having some independence so you could also try implementing some routine cards or a visual schedule that show the steps of what you need him to do for his bedtime routine. So the cards might show, Put Away Toys, Brush Teeth, PJs on, etc. He can be in charge of taking down/moving a card when he completes each task.
The Visual Support is a Must Have
I cannot stress to you enough the importance of a visual schedule! Toddlers thrive on predictability and are beginning to crave some independence.
This particular set comes with a 14” x 12” magnetic board, 72 home-related magnets, and 19 heading magnets. The backside of the board is dry erase which gives you even more ways to use it!
Home Collection Magnets:
|Arts + Crafts||Bath||Bedtime||Bike||Breakfast||Brush Teeth||Brush Teeth||Church|
|Clean Room||Clear Stairs||Clear Table||Comb Hair||Computer||Dance||Dentist||Dessert|
|Dinner||Dishes||Doctor||Drink||Family Time||Feed Pets||Free Time||Games|
|Garbage||Get Dressed||Going Out||Gymnastics||Hair Cut||Hat + Gloves||Homework||Jacket|
|Laundry||Library||Lights On/Off||Lunch||Make Bed||Movie Night||Music Lesson||Nap|
|Out to Eat||Outside Play||Pack Backpack||Pajamas||Party||Phone||Pick Up Toys||Play Date|
|Playground||Puzzles||Reading||Restroom||School||Set the Table||Shoes||Shopping|
|Shower||Snack||Special Event||Sports||Swim||Tablet||Toy Time||Trip|
|TV||Unpack Backpack||Video Games||Wake Up||Walk||Wash Hands||Wipe Sink||Zoo/Aquarium|
Our nights have been 100% smoother since we started using our visual schedule. He now has more independence with his routine which makes an almost threenager very happy.
The Life-Changing Toddler Clean Up Trick
I just have to share this amazing little hack with you!
We all know that cleaning up toys at the end of the night can be a huge struggle. Kids will either completely resist or they do it wayyyyyyy too slowly for our patience level at that point in the night.
We’ll I’m about to change your life. Dramatic, I know.
So, I stumbled upon a song on YouTube called “Clean Up Robot” and oh my god this thing is pure gold!
Each night, as part of my son’s bedtime routine, we play the song and try to “beat the robot”. We both run around the living room picking up toys as fast as we can so we can finish before the song ends.
You won’t even believe how well this works until you see it with your own eyes! We’ve been using it for months now and it still amazes me just how well it still works.
He even tries to clean up his toys well-before the song ends so that he has time to bust some moves! Be sure to show-off your best robot power-down move at the very end. It’s a crowd pleaser.
Quick Tip: Put your phone on high countertop or somewhere where your child can’t see the screen. If they know it’s a video, then they may just want to watch the video instead of clean up! My son has no clue that it’s actually a video. We tell him that it’s just a song.
Topping Off Your Routine With Some Bedtime Yogurt
And by yogurt I mean YOGA. My toddler thinks he’s hilarious when he calls yoga, yogurt. So, bedtime yogurt it is.
I ordered these Yoga and Mindfulness Cards on Amazon and they are wonderful! I wasn’t sure how well a high-energy 2.5 year old boy would respond to them but he absolutely loves them and requests to do yogurt/yoga every night!
Each of the 50+ cards comes with an adorable illustration of the pose along with super easy instructions on the back on how you can introduce it and use it with your child.
They also have a symbol in the corner that tells you whether the pose increases energy, decreases energy, or if it’s neutral. This is very helpful when choosing a sequence for your bedtime routine (or any other parts of your day).
The cards are divided into 5 elements: Connect, Breathe, Move, Focus, and Relax. The instructions guide you through setting up a sequence that is balanced and fitting for your child.
Time for some well-deserved Netflix and chill. Enjoy, mama!
Alright, so I need to know what you’re favorite guilty pleasure is once the kids go to bed! Let’s keep it PG people.