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.
I looooooove this application of the Echo. 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?
Another idea is to set an alarm every night at the same time. You can make it a regular alarm or a music alarm. For example, you can set an alarm for 7 PM to start the routine and another one for 7:30 PM, the time you want it to end.
Let the Amazon Echo read your little one a bedtime story.
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? Or, tell “one more bedtime story” after you’ve left the room?
The Amazon Echo connects to your Audible account, so any children’s book that’s available on Audible can be read to your child by your Echo.
Let the Amazon Echo play a few lullabies.
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 a little soothing music 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!
Use the Amazon Echo to gradually dim the lights.
Now you can use smart bulbs and switches and ask Alexa to dim the lights. Simply say something similar to “Alexa, dim Jane’s room 50%.” You can also say “Alexa, make Jane’s room red.”
Once you 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!
Use the Amazon Echo as a white noise machine.
Use the Amazon Echo to talk to your child from another 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 may need to hear YOUR voice to be comforted when she’s fussy. But, once it’s routine, this could be a good way to discourage calling out for you in the first place!
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 lullaby 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.