The 10 Easy Steps to Our Twins’ Bedtime Routine
It’s a well-known fact that as soon as a twin mom gives birth, she automatically earns her membership to what we lovingly refer to as “Team No Sleep.” Figuring out how to turn the chaos dial down at night can be challenging—especially when there are TWO babies involved! With different developmental factors (such as teething, growth spurts, transitions from cribs to toddler beds, etc.) that can lead to certain phases being harder than others, it’s imperative to maintain a healthy routine at night to help your little ones get the rest they need. As a twin mom to two 23-month old’s, we’ve worked hard to find a routine (and the right products!) that relax our kids before bed. Since twin sleep is a popular topic that I’m often asked about, I want to share with you the 10 steps to our bedtime routine that wind our kids down each night. The whole routine takes about 45 minutes, starting with baths at around 6:30PM and ending with everyone tucked in by 7:15PM.
Our Twin’s Bedtime Routine:
1. Take a warm, bubbly bath using Baby Dove Calming Nights Tip to Toe Wash.
After dinner, the first thing we say to the kids is “It’s bath time!” When they hear those 3 words, they both (without fail) go running for the bathroom door with big smiles. Our twins have always had so much fun in the tub together. Between reading, playing with water toys, and splashing each other, they enjoy getting some of that extra energy out in the evenings. I like to use Baby Dove Calming Nights Tip to Toe Wash on them because it's gentle, creates a creamy lather, AND has a warm milk and chamomile scent that’s very calming—honestly, it even soothes me to smell it! My other favorite part about Baby Dove’s new Calming Nights Wash is that it’s hypoallergenic and tear-free. My son has very sensitive skin that’s eczema-prone, so it’s important for me to use a wash that replenishes moisture and skin-natural nutrients back into his (and his sister’s) skin, keeping it healthy and preventing dryness. Being a pediatric nurse practitioner myself, it’s also nice to know that Baby Dove’s new Calming Nights Wash is ophthalmologist, dermatologist, and pediatrician tested. As a side note, for the first ~7 months (until the twins could sit up well independently), my husband and I would bathe the kids one at a time using an infant tub. Now that they’re almost 2, we just let them sit in the big tub at the same time!
2. Apply Baby Dove Calming Nights Baby Lotion.
This might be my FAVORITE step in the whole bathing process. There’s just something about a fresh-smelling baby with SOFT lotion on their skin! And for some reason, it makes me think of my mom. She was always so diligent about putting lotion on me and my sister as kids, and now I’m the same way with my own children! Right after we get the twins out of the tub, we put their diapers on and slather them up with Baby Dove Calming Nights Baby Lotion. Knowing warm baths naturally lead to some moisture loss from skin, this particular lotion does a nice job of restoring that extra moisture and skin-natural nutrients—leaving the kids’ skin silky and smooth! It actually soothed my son’s dry, eczema-prone skin even from the first use. By the way, the Baby Dove Calming Nights Lotion also has the same relaxing scent of warm milk and chamomile as the wash. I definitely think the delicate scent plus massaging the lotion into their skin is a calming combination for our littles ones.
3. Put on pajamas.
I’m not going to lie, I’m one of those moms that loves to have my twins match. That said, 90% of the time, they’re wearing the same pajamas or at least the same color. I figure I’ll take advantage of being able to do that for as long as they’ll let me! ;)
4. Brush teeth and brush hair.
I remember when we first started brushing the kids’ teeth when they were around 1 year old—they hated it! Now, they do really well with it. After I’ve brushed their teeth myself, I then let them practice brushing their own teeth. Trying to build those independent skills!
5. Read 2 books while rocking in the recliner with twins.
My goal is to read 2 books at bedtime. Most often, though, they beg me to either read way more than 2 or they beg me to read the same book about 4 times in a row. ;) While we are rocking and reading in the recliner in their room, this is usually the time all the yawns start kicking in. Fun fact: this recliner is the only place I could ever sleep when I was pregnant with the twins! There’s something special about things coming full circle in this chair.
6. Turn the lights off and pull down the blackout shades.
Our light switch in the twins’ room has a dimmer (which I highly recommend installing). When we are reading our books, I make sure the room is dimmer than normal. However, when we are done reading, then I turn the lights off completely. Blackout shades are a must! Given their bedtime is sometimes before sunset, it’s important to ensure the room is as dark as possible to promote low stimulation for bedtime.
7. Turn on the sound machine.
White noise just helps drown everything out. It’s particularly nice to have this on in our twins’ room because my husband and I are often awake in the living room/kitchen right outside of their room after they’ve gone to bed.
8. Sing the “Night Night” song.
I know this sounds weird, but one random night when the twins were about 12 months old, I just started singing the words “Night Night” over and over repeatedly as my husband and I rocked/held the twins in our arms. It’s so funny because it stuck! The twins actually sing it with me every night now and they know that it means it’s time to go to bed.
9. Ask the twins to give each other a hug and a kiss.
And they actually do listen! They’ve been doing this since they were about 18 months old.
10. Tuck them in bed, say “I love you,” and close the door. Then go watch the baby monitor!
We purposely put the kids down in their own beds while they’re still awake but sleepy. We’ve always done this because we want the kids to be able to fall asleep on their own and not be dependent on one of us to have to be there for it. About 1 month ago, at around 22 months, we transitioned the twins’ cribs to toddler beds due to them climbing out. Sometimes they stay awake a little longer just “reading” to themselves, while other times they go straight to sleep. Either way, we always check back in on the baby monitor after bedtime to make sure they’re in their beds. If they’ve fallen asleep on the floor, then we go back in and move them to their beds. My extra advice here: keep them in cribs for as long as you can. ;)
With children always going through huge, new changes, it’s important to keep some things constant—such as bedtime routines. Simply put, kids love (and thrive off of) schedules and regularity. Now that we’ve created our own solid bedtime routine for our twins--from using Baby Dove Calming Nights Tip to Toe Wash and Baby Dove Calming Nights Baby Lotion to help them relax before bedtime to making up our own “Night Night” song--I definitely feel like we’ve cracked one of the most important mom life hacks! Hopefully you can take some tricks from our routine and integrate them into your own to get your kids (and you!) one step closer to successfully winding down at night. And if you don’t have a bedtime routine for your kids yet, then it’s never too late to get started!