So what do I do to make a 3 year old WANT to go to bed? It's really quite simple ...
- We have a consistent and predictable routine
- We take our time with it
- I (do my best to) stay calm and relaxed
On a typical night our bedtime routine starts with a bath or shower - she will entertain herself with some water toys while I prep fresh jammies and a hot water bottle. After a while I will check in to see how she is and help her wash. When she's had enough I'll get her out and we do a top-to-toe scan, checking for anything that may need some special cream (eczema and itchy bites) or a plaster. After this she will help me apply moisturiser and then she gets dressed. At this stage I will clean her ears and we scrape her nails - she's a thumb sucker and I get really paranoid about the gunk under those things! Next she will apply some magnesium to the bottoms of her feet. Our favourite is The Nude Alchemist Magnesium Rescue - have you tried it? Game changer.
Once she is squeaky clean and warm I will brush her hair and we chat about our day and what we're doing tomorrow. I tend to drag this part out so she can have a space to really open up if she needs to. Sometimes I use the brush gently over her back and give her a little massage, then we clean her teeth, read a book and she sprays her pillow with a sleepy mixture of essential oils - I honestly hear her snoring away within minutes!
I suffered with insomnia for the majority of last year, and on my quest to get a better nights sleep I discovered the magic of pillow sprays. They're effective, incredibly easy to make and are a great activity for the little ones (we like to pretend we're brewing a magical potion that will make us sleep). I have included our favourite recipe below:
DIY PILLOW SPRAY
- amber glass mist bottle (I bought mine from Grounded Life)
- 1/2 cup of distilled water
- 1Tbs of vodka or witch hazel
- 15 drops of an essential oil of your choice - we like lavender & cedarwood
A quick note: don't skip on the vodka or witch hazel as these will help carry the oil (water and oil naturally repel each other). I tend to use vodka as it dries faster.