Let’s talk bedtime routine! I have always been that mom to sleep train her kiddos from day one (when I got the green light from their pediatrician). I believe in routine, schedules and setting timers.
Ryland: age 5 and Rori: age 3.
Ryland and Rori can’t tell time. How many countless times have you said “5 more minutes” to have that adorable toddler smile at you and ask for 5 more minutes? Oh, I know all about those days! Timers help eliminate that whole process of toddler smile to you giving in (oh, because I know you do. How could you not?). Timers establish an understanding between mom and child that when this alarm goes off, then it is time to go. No questions asked. It has worked for BOTH of my very different personality children. I set the timer for just about everything, but it’s really helpful at night because the timer indicates that it is time to get our bedtime routine going!
Schedules keep my house in one piece and my brain sane. With ballet, t-ball, preschool, kindergarten, mama in college, full-time job, and an aspiring blogger, I need to have a visual and physical schedule in order to get the kids safely and on time from point A to point B. Schedules are more to keep me organized, but the Ryland and Rori also benefit from it because Ryland gets so excited when grandparents pick him up from school on the days that I have school and Rori looks forward to Thursdays because she has share day at preschool. Days that I have school, their grandparents will come over and babysit and start their bedtime routine, I usually get home just in time for the books and snuggles.
I am a creature of habit. I am not the most spontaneous or adventurous person. I work best when things are planned and things are “normal” and in our household, the same goes for my kiddos. I love allowing them to explore, but I also like that they have a stable routine to keep them grounded.
Timers, schedules, and routines are not just for bedtime – but it helps to make the bedtime process smoother, less stress, and just more enjoyable for mama and kiddos.
Here is what an evening looks like in our home
1.) Dinner – usually something marinated from the night before or something in my insta-pot! Easy, but delicious dinners for the win!
2.) Kids play while food settles in their tiny tummies and mama does dishes. I hate going to bed with a sink full of dishes (we have plenty of nights where we just don’t get to them for a couple of days too. we are not perfect. but we try our best to be the best that we can be).
3.) We all head upstairs to find pajamas and lay out the kids clothes for tomorrow morning (head to toe!).
4.) Bath time – bubbles baths are for weekends.
5.) Brush teeth, lotion, body cream time!
6.) Read a book to Ryland – he’s been very into “I spy” and all things dinosaur.
7.) Read a book to Rori- she’s all about Clifford the big red dog and also anything that relates to the British Peppa Pig.
10.) Sing little mermaid ‘a whole new world’ to Rori
11.) “Hugs, kiss, and high five”… Night lights on and kids are out!
I use “me time” to study, put on a face mask while I respond to emails, catch up on my shows, or just enjoy the silence.
Do your kids have a bedtime routine?
(cell phone alarms are fine as well, but if your child is a visual person – these timers may help!)