Happy Tuesday, friends!
Two weeks ago, I did A Week in the Life of Us post and had so many questions about my kiddos’ bedtime routine. So, today…we’re talking about it.
Buuuuuuut…I’m not giving advice. I’m asking you to share your advice because quite honestly, I’m pretty sure we screwed this up nine years ago. Ha!
Andrew and I joke all the time that we’ve become better parents the more children we’ve had (sorry Kensington!). One of the things we did not do well in the beginning was putting our kids to bed. Nine years later, Kensington still has the most complex bedtime routine while Madeley is like “peace out” and falls asleep.
We thought we had a really good little routine going with Kensington, but in hindsight, we should have edited it down just a bit.
When Kensington was little, we would give her a bath, put on her pjs and let her watch one show while having milk before bed. All of you veteran mamas out there…why is that a big mistake?
Because when it came time to potty train her, we realized it was dumb to fill her full of liquids right before bed. DUH! #noonetoldusthat #newparentproblems
Well, she didn’t like that. She had gone over 2 years with this little routine and was ticked when we were like “no milk for you before bed”. Ha! That was only one of the problems. Kensington’s bedtime routine was just loooooooong. Still to this day, it takes her the longest to get her bedtime routine over with. She has to make sure she has all 8 of her stuffed animals all lined up in a row (and yes, she knows when one is missing), she has to have her TWO favorite blankets (why did we give her two?!), she likes to listen to this one song on her iPad (it’s a lullaby), says her prayers and goes to sleep. She jokes with us about it now because she knows it’s a production 🙂 .
Then you get to this fourth kid and she grabs one stuffed animal on her way up the bunk bed ladder, says her prayers and is asleep before we turn off the light. Ha!
Needless to say…I’m not sure if we should be offering advice.
As a general rule, we always do this at night:
1: Let them wind down before bed. Even if we get home pretty late, we know they need a minute to wind down with a TV show or book…just something before putting them to bed.
2: Say our prayers with each kiddo (Andrew and I each take turns doing it with the kids so that each kid gets a prayer by each of us each night)
3: We love sound machines at our house. This might be another bad thing we’ve done, but we all sleep with some sort of sound machine in our rooms. Hmmmmm…maybe that’s not a positive thing…
4: We keep things dark. We’ve always kept their rooms dark, so we don’t sleep with any nightlights. This helps when we’re traveling too because they’re not used to some sort of particular light.
I get asked all the time about how we deal with bedtime routines and naps while we’re on vacation…
…I did a whole post on napping that you can read HERE. I include in that post my tips and tricks for getting them to nap and sleep when you’re traveling too. Plus, there are a lot of funny pics of my kids asleep in crazy places in that post too. It made me laugh to go back and re-read it.
So, what do you do to establish a bedtime routine??? I’m sure all of the new mamas out there would love to know. Please comment and share your dos and don’ts. xo