One area of parenting that I am super consistent with is bedtime. This is mainly for my personal needs. My husband travels a lot and I need the children to have a consistent bedtime routine so I can have some time in the evening.
This summer, I lost control. As my children are getting older and able to stay up a little later, I let go of the routine for the summer. Many nights the children were up WAY to late and other nights I would TRY to get them to sleep earlier with little success. Most of the problem I believe came not from the varied bedtimes but from the change in routine. My kids were not thriving without a bedtime routine. Often, I would skip portions of our evening ritual to move the process along. This always backfired and it would end up taking longer to put them to bed.
School begins on August 26. Last night I slowly began to adjust bedtimes. I will move them by 15-20 minutes earlier until we get to the proper bedtime. I’ve also set our evening routine back in place. Here is a peek at what it looks like.
- Dinner (at a somewhat reasonable hour…it’s so tough in the summer when the sun is out so long)
- Bath for my youngest (the girls like to shower in the morning)
- Gummy Vitamins (my son has a song called The Gummy Truck he sings)
- Brush teeth
- Lay out clothes for the morning
- Go to the bathroom one last time (at least try)
- Read books
- Kiss goodnight and snuggles
Our evening routine has changed over the years. When the children were small I played music (lullabies) after books and turned on the twilight constellation night light turtle. Before that, I would sing to them and rock them in the glider. You need to find a routine that works for you and is age appropriate.
A good bedtime routine is a great gift you can give to your child and an amazing gift to yourself, a peaceful evening.
And there is nothing more beautiful than peaceful, sleeping children.