Have you seen the Amazon Echo yet? Leave it to Amazon to create such a cool product! The Amazon Echo is basically a personal assistant that lives in your house and is always listening for your next request. The Echo can play music, answer your questions, sync with your smart devices, and even control your lights!
But here’s what we think is super cool: the Amazon Echo makes an AWESOME addition to your child’s bedtime routine.
6 Ways To Use Amazon Echo In Your Child’s Bedtime Routine
- Use the Amazon Echo as the bedtime timer.
- Let the Amazon Echo read your little one a bedtime story.
- Let the Amazon Echo play a few lullabies.
- Use the Amazon Echo to gradually dim the lights.
- Use the Amazon Echo as a white noise machine.
- Use the Amazon Echo to talk to your child from another room.
I looooooove this application of the Echo. As you probably know by now, for toddlers and preschoolers, we strongly recommend instituting a bedtime countdown, to help your child adjust to the fact that bedtime is approaching. Well now, instead of you having to play the role of bad guy (or bad mama) with the timer, you can make the Amazon Echo your scapegoat. Ask Alexa (that’s the Echo’s “name”) to set a timer for you; your kids can even ask Alexa how many more minutes they have until it’s bedtime. How cool is that?
I’m not advocating that you check out entirely and let the Amazon Echo read ALL of your child’s bedtime stories – not at all. There is no substitute for snuggling with and reading to your little one. But wouldn’t it be great to have Alexa kick off the bedtime stories by reading a story to your child while you brush teeth? While you put on PJs? The Amazon Echo connects to your Audible.com account, so any children’s book that’s available on Audible can be read to your child by your Echo.
This is where the Echo really shines – you can set up playlists online and then have your Echo play them for you anytime, anywhere. How perfect is that for bedtime? Create a bedtime lullaby playlist, and ask Alexa to start playing it at any point during your bedtime routine. This can come in so, so handy: we always recommend that you have a strong, definitive end to your bedtime routine, and ending with the same song each night is a great way to achieve that!
Now, you do have to have the “right” kind of light bulbs and dimmer switch to do this. You can see compatible bulbs and switches here. If you DO have compatible hardware, you can ask Alexa to dim the lights in your child’s room as you near the end of your routine. This, coupled with a lullaby playlist, is a fantastic way to really strengthen your child’s bedtime routine, and to signal that sleep is approaching – all while you stay cuddled up with your little one in rocker!
To use the Echo for white noise, you’d need to leave the Echo in your child’s room all night long, if your child is in the habit of having white noise going all night – and that isn’t practical for every family. While you can move the Echo from one room to another, this is cumbersome, as the Amazon Echo doesn’t have a battery (at least, not yet) and would need to be unplugged/plugged in every time you moved it. Many families find it more practical to just leave the Echo in one central location. However, if you want to park an Amazon Echo in your child’s room permanently as a bedtime helper and white noise machine, this may be a great excuse for you to get another Echo! You can easily manage multiple Echos in the same home, all from one Amazon account. Keep one in your child’s bedroom and another in yours – and maybe a third in your shared space (like a living room or family room).
This might be the coolest way to use the Echo as part of your child’s bedtime routine. The Amazon Echo has this “Simon Says” feature, in which you speak into the remote and the Echo repeats whatever you say. The bedtime implications of this are awesome. Imagine if your toddler is calling out to you, asking for another glass of water: you can have Alexa remind your child that he’s already had two glasses of water, and that it’s time to go to sleep. Just keep in mind that Alexa will repeat whatever you say in her “Alexa voice”, so this Simon Says feature may not be a great way to soothe an upset child – your child likely needs to hear YOUR voice to be comforted when she’s fussy.
You can, of course, keep your child’s bedtime routine very low-tech: a bedtime story and the sound of mom’s voice singing a sweet lullabye has worked for children for centuries, and it will work for centuries more. But we live in an age of wondrous technology, readers, and if you feel so inclined, you should absolutely take advantage of every.single.benefit that technology can provide you – including the benefit of an easier, smoother bedtime routine. 😉
Something else to keep in mind – even if you don’t think you’d want to use the Amazon Echo as part of your child’s bedtime routine, it would make a fantastic Christmas gift for a tech-loving partner or spouse! Nicole bought one for her husband’s birthday, and it’s been a welcome addition to their home.
Get Bedtime Help From an Expert – For High-Tech and Low-Tech Parents Alike!
Whether you’re high-tech or low-tech, if you’re struggling with tough bedtimes and sleepless nights, you’re no doubt at your wit’s end. Fortunately, we can help! Our team of experts has the know-how you need to get your little one sleeping soundly, once and for all. Connect with one of our expert consultants; she’ll walk you through every step of sleep training and will provide detailed answers to your most pressing sleep training questions.
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