Making bedtime FUN! The sleep trainer’s Bedtime Routine for toddlers

August 29th, 2018 by Ashley Lohse

Here’s the scenario.

The scene opens on a tired mommy who’s been spit up on, sucked on, hanged off of and spent the majority of the day trying to get a baby to sleep. She welcomes daddy at the door; He’s late, again. Bath time is done, and the baby is ready for bed.

Daddy starts to tickle and chase and throw baby around, and mommy yells “stop getting him all excited and amped up, it’s nearly time for bed he won’t sleep!”.

Daddy gets frustrated, mutters something under his breath at mommy and slowly begins to withdraw from bedtime over the coming days and weeks since he just “gets in shit” all the time.

The Pro Weighs In

Daddy, mommy isn’t asking you to stop helping. She’s stressed and tired and would love to be seen as the “fun” parent. Instead, she is bedtime police and does very much want you to help.

Mommy, let’s find a better way to make everyone enjoy bedtime.

Insert – Bedtime dance party! Sleep Teacher Ashley approved and recommended ☺

Bedtime should be fun for children of all ages. It doesn’t have to be dimmed lighting, lavender-scented and quiet. I want you to bring the fun back to your bedtimes by creating a routine that highlights this magic time of night.

Here’s how it goes in our house:

Option One – Bath Nights

We tell the kids it’s time for a bath, head up and have some tub time. Once they are squeaky clean, we get the kids ready on our bed. We do so by throwing them around and hiding them under the covers while ones of us will yell “Preston, yoohoo! Where did you go?” Then he pops his head out laughing and laughing, his sister then follows along. We wrestle PJ’s on and proceed to turn our bedtime speakers on for our “Dance Party”. We pick an upbeat song, and the kids get to shake their booty!

If you want some giggles, check out the video and subscribe to my new channel! ☺



We proceed to the kid’s bedrooms, read our book and sing a song as we tuck them in and ask “what will you dream of?” The answer is almost always the same: “Rocky, Rubble, Zooma and Sky”. (If you haven’t discovered Paw Patrol yet, I envy you, ha!) Lights out, door shut, mom and dad high-five and the bedtime madness is over without a single tantrum or argument!


Option Two – Non-Bath Nights

The kids watch a 30-minute show, and once the episode ends, Daddy or Mommy yells “Bedtime, I’m gonna win!” The kids are pretty competitive, so they race each other upstairs to bed. At this point, daddy and I hang back and wait for them to reach the top of the stairs, and we yell “FE FI FO FUM” and start stomping our way upstairs. Giggles and craziness ensue as the kids try their best to hide. I find this comical because they suck at hiding, haha!

Once we find them, we tickle them and then go to the bathroom for teeth brushing and potty. The kids get to brush their teeth, then mommy has a quick turn to ensure we got all the sugar buggies. Then it’s into bedrooms for the rest!

TIP: I sing ABC’s while brushing, so they know how long I will spend brushing, this really helps them be patient.

Since implementing a fun routine, Daddy loves to get involved. He works so much most of the time that he is literally only flying in the door at bedtime to catch this fun with them. So he wants to make it count, I just can’t deny him that fun time. Plus, he is happy and confident to do this by himself so that I can go clean up dishes, jump into the shower myself, or clean up some toys. Thus, getting me to downtime faster!

If you want some help making your bedtime fun and enjoyable for everyone, please reach out! I would LOVE to give you some great examples and help to reach your bedtime goals.

Sweet Dreams,



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