With a husband that works away all week every week routines are the way I get through life especially now I have two children. If I wasn’t organised I’m not sure we would ever get out of the door in time to get Little Man to preschool. I definitely wouldn’t get them to bed at a reasonable hour if we didn’t have a bedtime routine.
Little Man has had a decent bedtime routine since he was about 9 months old but when Little Lady came home it all went a bit to pot. I had to fit his bath around her feeds and hope she didn’t cry too much while I read him a story. When Little Lady started sleeping through the night I took the opportunity to start her bedtime routine up and sync the two. I realise I sound a bit routine obsessed and I know it’s not for everyone but I am a massive fan of bedtime routines especially. They make for calm children before sleep and hopefully then they then help keep said children asleep! So if you have to do the bedtime routine on your own and you’re tearing your hair out I thought sharing ours may help. I always like to use routines that other Mums have told me about as they tend to be a good starting point. Obviously there are times we don’t stick to it or it all goes terribly wrong and I am reaching for the chocolate by 8pm but generally it works. So here is our bedtime routine for Little Man (4 years old) and Little Lady (8 months old).
6pm – The bedtime routine starts at 6pm with Little Man having tidy up time; this is a battle in itself as he is much too busy to tidy up his toys but once that is done he sits on the sofa for a little bit of TV and a glass of milk. Just as a side note, I usually use this time to stick Little Lady in her bouncer and run upstairs to lay out pyjamas, towels, etc so that I don’t have to do it while they are running wild upstairs.
6:30pm – We then all head up upstairs and it’s brush teeth and a bath. They have a bath together which helps hugely when I’m on my own as they are both in the same place at the same time! Little Lady loves to watch her brother play so that keeps her nicely occupied too. I get Little Lady out of the bath first and get her dried, dressed and settled in the bathroom so I can keep an eye on Little Man in the bath. Then I get him out and dressed while Little Lady happily kicks around on the floor, her favourite thing is to watch him so she is happy when he is next to her.
6.45pm – We all sit in Little Mans bedroom for a bedtime story of his choosing. We have just started using the Library more so we have a different story most nights which is nice. I really love this part of the day; two clean and chilled kids and sharing a story together. Then it’s lights out for Little Man and off to sleep for him.
7:00pm – Just Little Lady left to sort out now. We sit on my bed and she has her bedtime bottle and then has a cuddle in her sleeping bag for 10 minutes. When she is nearly asleep I put her down in her room.
7:30pm – Mummy collapses on the sofa finding the energy to clean up and feed herself
I hope this routine helps anyone that is struggling to find a routine for bedtime. As I said, it does sometimes go wrong but generally it is a tried and tested method.
Do you have a bedtime routine?