'My toddler’s bedtime is always chaotic. Here's a recap of the new routine we tried for a week.'

Thanks to our brand partner, Cub

Any toddler parent who’s been around the block a few times (more likely a hundred times, in the car or on foot, while trying to get their kid to sleep), has heard the phrases, “bedtime routine”, “wind-down routine” and/or “night-time routine” ad nauseam. 

It seems that by the time their kiddo turns one, every toddler parent worth their salt has one of those routine down to a fine art. But not me! Nope. Bedtime is always a total whirlwind of chaos in our humble abode. It’s comprised of me feverishly flicking through 10-15 books to the tune of my toddler yelling “all done” after I’ve read each opening line, before shoving the next book into my hands. It always features a long and laughter-filled bath with his dad, practising animal sounds and learning to count. 

And sometimes it’s just a quick eat-bath-bottle-bed-collapse-on-the-couch after a hectic workday, in which just keeping everyone fed and alive is all we can hope for.

I love my chaotic little household, but I’d also love to see if I can slip in a little bit more calm when it comes to our bedtime. So, this past week, we experimented with a new routine.

Here’s exactly how that went.

1. Teeth-brushing at bath time.

Teeth brushing has always been a frenzied rush, the duration and effectiveness of which has been largely determined by my toddler’s mood at the moment where we’ve remembered to shove a toothbrush in his mouth. Clearly not an effective system. 

This week, we decided to make it an exciting part of bath time. We hoped it would give him some space to really explore how the toothbrush feels in his mouth and get comfortable with properly brushing his little toothy pegs. It’s definitely a winner doing it when he's already having a great time and handing over control of it to him. To help, we put on a cute video for him to watch and mimic – total winner.


2. Bath massage.

We used to do this back in the newborn days, and it was such a beautiful practise. I thought it might be nice to bring it back at bath time using the CUB Head-To-Toe Baby Wash (picked up at Coles). We LOVE this savey wash (a cute $5!), and smells gorgeous with its sweet orange, chamomile and avocado oil. It's bliss having an all-in-one bath product too with a busy toddler, so I’ve always been a fan. 

Image: Supplied.


For its quality (and the assurance it's dermatologically tested), this baby wash is so much more affordable than some of the other options on the market, so it’s a no-brainer for us. I got my husband to rub a small amount on his hands and give our son a little massage with the suds. You could see him relax into it, and I then kept the zen going by repeating the same action on his tummy and legs when I had him on the change table for nappy and pyjama time.

3. Nappy and PJ time on the change table.

Most nights, one of us usually tackles our little monkey into his nappy and pyjamas out in the living room while the other gets his bottle ready. But this week, we resolved to carry the calm of the bath into the next phase of his routine. I kept the lights dim and started his white noise machine to signal that we’re heading towards sleep time (turns out parents rave about these for a reason!). 

Image: Supplied.


This week we used the CUB Ultra Dry nappies since we’ve been having some leakage overnight, and these ones are ultra-absorbent and ridiculously soft. We're also a bit (a lot) impressed with the fact that it has this wetness indicator line which changes colour when it's wet (honestly, no wonder their Infant, Crawler, Walker and Junior nappies were CHOICE recommended in 2022).

We also tried the CUB Biodegradable Baby Wipes, which are super gentle on his skin. They're a staple in my grocery shop – they're Australian made and even won Product of The Year 2023 in the Baby Care category (fancy!). Wipes are surely a parent's best friend for the first 5 years of their kids' life, so a quality find like this one gets a huge tick from me. Keeping the routine contained to the change table was a much calmer approach. We went into story time with a less chaotic vibe, and the nappies were a huge success in keeping him snug and super comfortable, but with plenty of stretch for movement overnight.


4. Introducing a ‘lovey’.

My little one has never shown a strong affinity for one particular soft toy, so historically I’ve just kept a few teddies in the corner of his room within easy reach, in case he gets snuggly. But this week, I thought I’d introduce a cuddly blanket toy into his routine. He happily cuddled it during story time and when I first put him to bed, but beyond that, he hasn’t shown a strong interest – maybe he’s just waiting for the right thing to come along. 

Image: Supplied.


5. Story time, minus the chaos.

In order for this new routine to be named a success, it was my goal to actually get through a book or two in full, instead of the usual 12 different one-line reads. Firstly, we stayed in his bedroom instead of heading out in the living room (admittedly usually with the TV on), and just brought in a small selection of books for him to choose from. By the third night of this, we were making it all the way through two of his favourites, then having a good flick through some pictures in a family album before calling it a night. This is definitely a habit I’ll be keeping. 

There’s certainly something to be said for just letting your household find its own little rhythm. But when that rhythm starts to resemble a beginner’s improv jazz performance, you know it’s time to introduce some structure and noise restrictions!

I loved our week of calm, predicable bed times, now it’s just a matter of keeping that energy going into the next.

Protect and care for your little cub as they play, learn and grow with CUB baby & toddler range, exclusive to Coles.

CUB Biodegradable Baby Wipes were tested according to ASTM D5511 to biodegrade in standard industrial landfill conditions. Product of The Year 2023 title in the Baby Care category is also based on a survey of 5000 people by NielsenIQ.

Feature Image: Supplied.

We're here to help you protect and care for your little cub as they play, learn and grow. Carefully developed with high quality ingredients and materials that are rigorously tested, the CUB range has been created to help savvy parents focus on the important, enjoyable moments. So from super-absorbent, comfy nappies through to nutritious baby foods and helpful accessories, you and your little cub can rely on & trust our entire range. CUB feel good baby care. Exclusive to Coles.