Pleasant bedtime routines ease the transition from being awake to being asleep by helping children feel more secure and comfortable about what they can expect at the end of every day. To create a bedtime routine that works for your toddler and that will serve him and you for years to come, put together a predictable sequence of events that you can consistently follow in the same order every night. The actual routine will evolve and change as your child grows, but the basics remain the same. At this age, the bedtime routine might involve the process of putting on PJs, brushing your child's teeth, and reading him a good-night story. Or, your routine may involve a bath and a song, and a story, and another song, and a glass of water, and another story. It's up to you to decide if you want to make it quick and easy or if you want to allow 20 to 30 minutes for special and exclusive time with your child for reading, snuggling, and being together.
Bedtime routines work best if you reserve the hour before bedtime for quiet play. This will lower your child's activity level and prepare his nervous system for relaxation. Roughhousing, running, playing tickling games, and even watching action-packed TV shows or videos make peaceful transition to sleep especially difficult. The following illustrates beneficial routines. Yours can be anything that works for you and your child: