Our Toddler Bedtime Routine

Our Perfect Toddler Bedtime Routine | Mama Papa Bubba

This post is sponsored by Back to Earth, my very favourite place for all things health, wellness, and personal / home care.  I’d venture to say that the majority of all of the products in our home – from cleaners to shampoos and conditioners to soaps to candles and sunscreens – are all from Back to Earth.  And it’s been that way for years.  {Even when space was at a premium and we were bringing many of our personal care and cooking items in our luggage to the Middle East, I made room for a year’s supply of my Back to Earth favourites!}  There are so many things I love about their products, but what I love most is that a) the company is based right here in the Okangan, and b) that the founder, Kiley, who has completed several certified herbalist and aromatherapy educational programs herself, works with a team of naturopaths, biochemists, herbalists, and aromatherapists to ensure that her carefully crafted products are as pure and natural as possible.  Plus I love that the products truly work.  {Because what good is a natural, locally crafted product if it doesn’t do the job it was intended to do, right?}

Well, I hate to say it, but summer’s officially over. We’ve been back in school for nearly two weeks now
and though I miss the slow mornings, carefree days, and having both of my kiddos at home with me, I will say that the transition hasn’t been horrible.  Miss G was fairly excited about going back to school and because we didn’t stray too far from our usual bedtimes and routines during the summer, that part hasn’t been a struggle either thankfully.  Now that being said, we definitely stayed outside too long, ate dinner too late, and rushed through our usual bedtime routine too often, so it’s been nice to get back into a solid rhythm of slower, more routine bedtimes.

Sam’s bedtime routine is pretty much the same as Miss G’s was when she was a toddler because it’s worked both for our kiddos and our family as a whole…  And why change a good thing, right?


Now, before I share how our evenings go down with this little sweetheart of ours, I will say that our kids are early-to-bed kiddos and always have been.  I was that new mama who read and researched every last thing while pregnant with Miss G and the one thing I came across again and again on the topic of sleep was how beneficial early bedtimes are for little ones – so we went with it.  At this point, Sam {who is 2.75 years old} is usually in bed around 6:30 or 6:45 p.m. and Miss G {who is newly 8} is in her room at the same time but has a full hour to read before going to bed.  Of course bedtimes that early don’t work for all families, but we love them because a) they allow our early risers to get a full 11 or 12 hours of sleep and b) because they give Brad and I some time on our own at night {which is especially important since that’s when I work}.

So.  Here’s how a typical night goes at our house…

toddler bedtime routine

First up, dinner.  Dinner happens around 5:00 / 5:15 in our house and we all sit down together for a family meal pretty much every night.

toddler bedtime routine

Now, if you’ve ever seen Sam eat, you know that most nights it’s a complete and utter disaster, so he heads straight into the tub afterwards. {We’re talking stripped down at the table and carried directly to the tub.} And even if it’s not a messy night, he still has a warm, chilled out bath simply because he enjoys it and it’s part of our evening routine.

Our bath time essentials?

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Several small vehicles and more recently, this air pressure water sprayer that was a favourite this summer {hello, DIY car wash}…

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Our easy homemade coconut oat bath milk bath that is naturally cleansing, moisturizing, and soothing {this is all we use on nights when his bath is for the routine of it and he’s not actually dirty}.

toddler bedtime routine

And this Moon Baby Shampoo & Body Wash from Back to Earth whenever his hair or body needs to be washed.  It’s free of all the usual yuckies (SLS, parabens, sulphates, cocamide-DEA, formaldehyde, and perfume) and full of good stuff, like organic oils, aloe vera juice, pure liquid castile soap, and calming kiddo/baby safe organic essential oils and smells like clean babies!

toddler bedtime routine

By about 5:45 or 6:00 p.m., it’s out of the tub and over to our bedroom where we get ready for bedtime.

toddler bedtime routine

Oftentimes we’ll find a little ‘getting ready station’ all set up on the bed courtesy of Miss G, which I just think is the sweetest thing.  She’ll pick out a pair of cozy jammies and a bedtime story, plus have all the essentials (a Wet Brush, a Seventh Generation disposable diaper and our Sweet Pea Herbal Balm, our Trust Mother Nature Magnesium Salve, our Memories Roller, and some vitamin D drops} neatly set out and ready to go.

toddler bedtime routine

We keep all of our bedtime essentials in one of these little carry caddies in a cupboard in our room, so everything’s in one place and super easy for her to find.

toddler bedtime routine

Alright, so once Sam’s out of the tub, here’s how it all goes down…

First up, Back to Earth’s Sweet Pea Herbal Balm on the tush.  We’ve used this stuff since Miss G was a baby and we just love it.  It’s this amazing combination of local beeswax, pure extra virgin olive oil, and Canadian Kisameet Glacial Clay, infused organic calendula, arnica, lavender, chamomile, and comfrey flowers, vitamin E, and pure lavender essential oil and it works for EVERYTHING.  Both of our kiddos have super sensitive skin and this stuff is our go-to for bug bites, rashes, dry patches, owies, and preventing bum rashes over night.

Next up, diaper.  We’ve always used disposables at night, simply because they can handle being worn for 12 hours at a time without leaking and I’ve mostly made peace with that choice {though in a perfect world, we’d never have to use disposable diapers at all}.

toddler bedtime routine

Next up, a small amount of Magnificent Magnesium Salve rubbed into his back.  We began using magnesium on-and-off when I first started to get serious about getting our little non-sleeper to sleep, but it’s become part of our regular bedtime routine since moving to Vernon.  There are so many factors at play that it’s hard to determine what’s at the root of our sleep success, but Sam’s definitely become a better sleeper over the course of the past year and a bit, so I’m not messing with what we’ve been doing. I always get loads of questions about our magnesium salve and while I’m far from an expert, my understanding is that magnesium is an essential mineral and something many people don’t get enough of {the body doesn’t produce magnesium – it’s something we have to get from outside sources}.  One of its many roles is aiding in restful sleep {by maintaining healthy GABA levels – a neurotransmitter that promotes sleep} and many people notice a marked difference in the quality of their sleep when they use a transdermal magnesium (magnesium applied to the skin).

Now two quick things to note about the Magnificent Magnesium Salve…  First up, while it’s not an actual Back to Earth product, the fact that Back to Earth carries it means that Kiley {Back to Earth’s founder} has given it her personal stamp of approval – huge given her standards and dedication to producing the purest, most natural products.  Secondly, this particular magnesium salve does contain a very small amount of rosemary essential oil, which is something I generally avoid using on / around the kids due to it’s 1,8-cineole chemotype, but I personally make an exception for this one product.  I love it because it’s super moisturizing compared the usual magnesium oil sprays and rollers that I find can be quite drying and even stingy sometimes (though Back to Earth carries those options if you prefer).  This one contains coconut oil, cocoa butter, shea butter, sweet almond oil, beeswax, aloe vera, and vitamin E, plus the most amazing smelling combination of essential oils – rosemary, marjoram, black pepper, and vanilla.

toddler bedtime routine{If we could only have three bedtime products, I’d pick these…  The Sweet Pea Herbal Balm, the MagNificent Magnesium Salve, and the Memories roller.}

While Sam’s still laying on his tummy, I run our Memories roller across the back of his neck and gently rub it in.  True story? At some point during our sleep journey I went into the Back to Earth store in Lavington {basically in total zombie mode because Sam hadn’t slept well in months} and said, ‘My child doesn’t sleep… HELLLP.’  This little Memories roller was the second thing recommended to me {after the magnesium} and is easily my favourite part of our bedtime routine now.  You know how certain smells are so connected to particular times / things?  Well to me, Memories is the smell of bedtime.  It’s a pre-diluted combination of lavender, rosewood, frankincense, ylang, patchouli, vanilla, vetiver, sandalwood, roman chamomile, sweet marjoram, blue tansy, and spruce, and dang – beyond it’s benefits, it’s got the most delightful, relaxing scent.  The blend was actually designed to address symptoms of ADD / ADHD, and it’s amazing for promoting better concentration, less excitability, and less anxiety / nervousness too.  {I regularly use it at night when I’m trying to cram a full day’s worth of computer work into 3 hours and I truly find that it helps me buckle down and stay focused.}

toddler bedtime routine

After putting Sam’s jammies on, we do vitamin D drops, and most nights – a quick nursing session, depending on if he wants to.  We’re definitely near the end of our breastfeeding journey, but he nurses for a short time first thing in the morning and just before bed most days and we’re both perfectly happy with that at the moment.

toddler bedtime routine

Next – teeth!  Thankfully he outgrew his aversion to having his teeth brushed and our days of pinning him down and prying his mouth open while he screams are long gone…  Nowadays I floss first, he has a minute to floss, I brush, and then he has a turn to brush.  If nothing else, he goes to sleep with very clean teeth. :D

toddler bedtime routine

I’m not particularly invested in a certain kid’s toothpaste at the moment, but I do really love these reusable flossers we ordered for the kids a year or so ago.  Prior to that, we had been using those little disposable flossers you can buy in big packs because they made flossing their tiny teeth so much easier, but I felt sick about all of the plastic we were throwing away.  My brother and I had these reusable contraptions growing up and while they weren’t super easy to find, I’m so happy I got my hands on a couple.  You just swap out the floss and you’re good to go.

toddler bedtime routine

Alright… Now for the most important part of our bedtime routine… Stories!  {See Sam’s all time favourites here.  Spoiler alert: they’re all about things that go.}

toddler bedtime routine

Because Brad and I tag team our evening routine, Sam reads one story with me upstairs and then heads downstairs to his bedroom to read one or two more with his Papa.

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Not always, but oftentimes I’ll have his diffuser going while we’re getting him ready for bed, and then I’ll turn it off before he’s actually down for the night.  I know that many people let their diffusers run all night, but I’m on the cautious side when it comes to kids and essential oils and there’s research that has shown that diffusing for long periods of time doesn’t actually add extra benefits, so most often I just run it for a short period before bedtime.

toddler bedtime routine

My go-to for both kiddos at bedtime?  Back to Earth’s Lil Cherubs Synergy Oil Blend.  It’s a combination of lavender, rosewood, geranium, lemon, bergamot, and chamomile and I find it to be such a calming, feel good blend.  A little goes a long way, which I love, and I usually just add a few drops to a diffuser full of water.  My other go-to, especially during cold and flu season, is straight up cedarwood essential oil as it not only has natural sedative properties, but is also known to reduce coughs and provide respiratory support – all while being kiddo safe {when used properly, of course.}

toddler bedtime routine

Next up, Sam has a drink of water, turns his Gro Clock to the sleep mode {we’ve used this clock with success with both kiddos}, turns on his air purifier {which doubles as white noise while he sleeps}, and turns off the light.

toddler bedtime routine

Brad then sings him a few songs, tucks him in tightly with his Loulou Lollipop Finery muslin quilts {these blankets are the coziest, most wonderful things}, and by 6:30{ish}, he’s in his crib for the night.

And that’s it…  We close the door, turn on the monitor, and he falls asleep on his own and stays asleep until 6 or 6:30 the next morning usually.  {Which is huge for our little preemie nugget who basically had to be held in order to sleep from the time he came home from the NICU to the time he was 14 months old.}  It seems like a lot when you write it down step-by-step, but it really doesn’t take all that long and I think it does set Sam up for a restful night’s sleep.

Back to Earth products are available in select stores across Canada (see which ones here) and can also be ordered online and shipped anywhere across the country (see shipping info here). And if you’re on their website and you’re not sure what other products to also try, my absolute cannot-live-without items are:

 Go-To Bedtime Routine for Toddlers

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3 thoughts on “Our Toddler Bedtime Routine

  1. I love the sound of all the products you mention on here but sadly, I live in the Uk and it seems they don’t ship abroad. Any suggestions? Similar products available here?

    Also, what do you use to diffuse oils in the room? Which diffuser?

  2. Everyone uses dental floss and I’ve never done it before and neither has my child, after reading your article I wondered if I should try it. I have a very cool family dentist (I’ll leave a link to their website https://nolanridgedental.ca/ ) and after talking to her, I realized that it has sense and have been flossing for a few weeks now – and I love it, really, and James too, I think, even more than me, haha

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