We had this issue for a while with my oldest and still do sometimes. Since this was our first child, I did what I could to get him calm and ready for bed. Here are some things that worked (and still work) for us.
- Bedtime Story– Your doctor of pediatrician recommends that you read to your children anyway. My husband loves to sit on the floor with Hayden and help him read books. He doesn't know many words yet but he loves trying to read with his father.
- Bathtime– This is Noah's favorite time of the day. As soon as the bath water starts running, he is crawling over to the tub and is waiting for me to strip him down and put him in. He could stay in the tub for hours. Of course he doesn't but it always seems to calm him down after an “off” day.
- Family Movie time– This always works with Hayden. Noah doesn't care about movies just yet so normally I wait until he's in bed before getting started. Hayden loves the movie Cars so i tell him to get his pajamas on, we grab some popcorn and hang out until its over.
- Clean-up time– Getting them used to cleaning up their play area before bed is something you want them to do anyway so making it into something to help them unwind is a great idea. My husband and son sometimes race each other so that they have more time for reading a book before bed.
- Try to keep in the same schedule- Once they get used to doing it one way (bath, clean up, story), they will know when its time and even start on their own. Then, it will be much easier to get any siblings to do the same.
Ashley is a busy mom of two boys and a resident contributor for Taking Time for Mommy – Online Magazine for Mom. She is also the owner of and the little ones too. You can also find her on Twitter and Facebook.