5 Ways to Wind Down Before Bedtime

Bedtime always seems to have three stages.

Number one — the slap happy — last chance to party time.

Number two — the meltdown — a.k.a. the battle against going to bed.

Number three — peacefully asleep.


I pride myself on my baby-whisperer level bedtime skills, but I know that bedtime can be a struggle. Here are some of the ways we wind down at bedtime.

Sing a Song Together
Pick a favorite song to sing each night. It can be anything from Itsy Bitsy Spider to an old English ballad. Start out singing it to them when they’re babies and they can join in as they get older. We sing the Irish tune, “Star of County Down.”

Say All Your Goodnights
Walk through each room of the house saying goodnight to toys, books, pets and siblings. This is a great way to calm the kids down and let them know that everyone is getting ready for bed.

List the Things You are Thankful For
Reminding them to think about what they are thankful for is a great habit to get into. Our thankful list goes something like this, “I’m thankful for Mommy, Daddy, Ginger (the dog), Grandma and Pop Pop…”

Read a Favorite Book
This may seem like a no brainer, but in the madness that often happens right before bedtime it can get easy to skip over this step. Reading a favorite book will most likely get them to sit calmly and stay engaged.

Recap the Day From Morning to Night
While they are laying in bed, recap the whole day starting from when they woke up. I find it useful to focus on calming adjectives and descriptions like the warm bath the sound of the waves they heard at the beach.

What calming remedies seem to work for you?


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