We hit the bathroom first. If it's bath night, we start with the tub, but if not, we start with going potty, washing hands and brushing teeth. The kids will sometimes drag this part out by playing in the sink or with water, but we dangle the next step at them to encourage them to wrap it up...
Books! We always read books at night and the kids love it (dangling books to get them out of the bathroom works most of the time). This is a great time to calm down and relax while prepping for sleep. Each kid gets to pick out a book to read and we read all together. After books, we turn off the lights and sing songs. It's all about the subtle transitions from one thing to the next, easing our way into the dark and to sleep.
The final touch is all about white noise. We use a mix of music and a fan. The fan acts as the white noise, but also keep the room cooler and air moving. I personally love sleeping with the fan on (even when the weather is cooler). The music both of my kids listen to is a 500+ song playlist that my husband poured over. He picked a mix of songs that fell under a 85 beats per minute (softer and slower songs ideal for calming and sleeping).
If you feel like your child might have more serious sleep issues, Children's Mercy has a Sleep Lab, which you can learn more about and preview here. And for other helpful parenting content, make sure to visit ChildrensMercy.org/Moms, and follow Children’s Mercy on Facebook and Twitter for more everyday parenting tips!
This post is in partnership with Children's Mercy Hospital. All opinions are my own, and ultimately, just so glad we have this gem in our city and they have rich content online to help us all navigate the would of parenting!