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Toddler Bedtime Routine

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As a new mom, I fought the idea of creating a bedtime routine for my son for many months, but after many nights dealing with an overtired baby and middle of the night wake up calls, I wised up. We have now been following this routine for over 16 months and it’s one of the most enjoyable time of our day.

Toddler Bedtime Routine

[ 1 ] Unwind with quiet play after dinner

After dinner, Roark unwinds by either independently playing with his toys or enjoying some quality time with daddy. Sometimes the quiet time turns into a toddler vs. parent wrestling match, but this time is crucial for Roark to burn up any energy he has left for the day. We play for about an hour.

[ 2 ] Take a relaxing bath

At around 7pm, R takes a long bath and this is his favorite time of the day. All I have to say is bath time and he climbs the stairs to the bathroom super fast. If he knew how, he would be taking his clothes off as he went up, because he tries to climb into the bathtub with all his clothes on. He loves the water and bath time is when he “swims”, blows bubbles, plays with toys and relaxes in the tub. As a toddler now, he is in that independent phase in which he likes to do everything on his own (how did we get here?), so I let him wash his own hair and brush his teeth while in the tub. Having products with pump tops on the bottle make it easy for me to dispense the right amount into his little hands and avoid a full spill into the tub, which is what Roark would most likely end up doing if the bottle didn’t have a pump top.

We have been using JOHNSON’S® products on Roark’s skin and hair since the hospital. His first bath was actually using JOHNSON’S® products. We’ve tried other products since, but again and again we go back to JOHNSON’S® products because it is reliable, gentle on the skin, absorbs fast and leaves the skin soft to the touch. R has sensitive skin and I trust the JOHNSON’S® products because it’s one of the few that don’t give him rashes.

It’s amazing to me that our families have used JOHNSON’S® for generations. My husband and I, our siblings and even our parents used JOHNSON’S® products. I mean, who doesn’t remember using the yellow JOHNSON’S® Baby Shampoo or the pink JOHNSON’S® Baby Lotion? I know I do, and it is great that I can now use them on Roark.

And I am even happier now that JOHNSON’S® has reformulated their products to reduce ingredients by 50% and that over 90% of the ingredients are now naturally derived. It tells me they are listening to our generation’s concerns. The newly formulated JOHNSON’S® products are 100% gentle, free of parabens, phthalates, dye, and sulfate. Basically, they are worry free!

I just tried their new JOHNSON’S® COTTONTOUCH™ Newborn Wash & Shampoo and Baby Lotion and I love it. The smell is so subtle, just enough to give the baby that fresh smell and the products are gentler than ever, his skin feels so soft.

[ 3 ] Massage

When Roark is done with his bath, it’s time to moisturize. We live in such dry, low humidity weather and because he bathes every night (a necessity when your toddler insists on putting food in every nook and cranny of his body), massage time is when we get moisture back into his skin. For this step, we love the JOHNSON’S® Baby Lotion. The iconic pink lotion has adorned our nurseries as babies and it’s a staple in Roark’s as well. I tried the new JOHNSON’S® COTTONTOUCH™ Newborn Face and Body Lotion and it’s a new favorite.


[ 4 ] Cuddle, bottle and bedtime story

This is one of the most rewarding time of the day. Roark and I sit in his room, with the lights dimmed and soft white noise on the background and while he drinks his bottle, I read a few books to him. His favorites are Little Blue Truck, Goodnight Train and anything with flaps that he can lift. He is developing a very strong memory and now I can ask him to point out different animals and things in books and he does it. It’s such a proud mama moment to know that months of reading- sometimes the same book over and over again- are already so beneficial to his development.

[ 5 ] Lullaby and sleep

As a last step into Roark’s bedtime routine, I like to rock him to sleep while singing lullabies. I just love this bonding time we have and it has taken the place of what breastfeeding provided us for the first year. I don’t know how long he will let me get away with this, but I take all the cuddling time I can get right now.

This has been our bedtime routine for over an year and has made a world of difference in how well he sleeps at night. Even when we are on the road, I try to stick to this routine so Roark knows what to expect. I even make sure that we use the same exact JOHNSON’S® products while we are on the road to avoid any new skin reactions.

Recently, during one of our camping trips I forgot to pack JOHNSON’S® products and I made my husband drive to the nearest Walgreens after dinner to buy it. Thankfully, Walgreens is available everywhere and conveniently opened 24 hrs so the hubby was able to find it with no problem. Walgreens has saved me from having a major mom guilt moment by being so dependable, because let’s face it, my brain is not so dependable after becoming a mom.

In fact, Walgreens has saved us so many times as new parents, in those middle of the night runs for medication and supplies that I don’t know how we would have survived our first year. Just like JOHNSON’S®, they are there for us when we need it and I always find amazing deals when I am at the store.

Right now, they are offering a buy 1 get 1 50% off on the newly reformulated JOHNSON’S® products with your balance rewards card. It is valid until 8/25 and you can check out the new products and purchase them here. If you go into the store, they will be available in stand alone displays like the one below.

I hope this Bedtime Routine has given you a glimpse into our lives with a toddler. Posts like these were really helpful to me as a new mom trying to figure out how to create a routine.

I would love to know if there is anything different you do in your kid’s bedtime routine below in the comments and if you have any questions, I will do my best to answer them.




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