Kids, Lifestyle, Parenting

ESTABLISHING A BEDTIME ROUTINE FOR KIDS

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Bedtime routine

As a mom, we want the best for our kiddos. This includes eating properly and getting some good rest. It can be frustrating sometimes when your kids aren’t cooperative when it’s time to get ready for bed. Establishing a good bedtime routine is helpful in so many ways, including helping your child to feel comfortable and secure about what to expect at the end of every day. Here are a few things that work for our family.

Start young

toddler and teddy

We started our bedtime routine at a young age. My husband and I knew that we wanted to have something setup to keep the kids on track. It was hard for the first year and a half to get the right bedtime routine setup for them because they are on their own schedule pretty much. We found that around age 2 was when we could really get them both to understand that the time we set for bed is the time they need to go.

Be consistent

We have been practicing this one for years now. Ever since our kids were about 2, they always had a pretty strict bedtime schedule. Even when we are on vacation or if they are spending the night at a family member’s house. They have separate times for weekdays and weekends. Also, they start their bedtime routine 15 minutes apart (otherwise, they’ll distract each other being in the bathroom at the same time and will take forever!).

Get involved

family brushing teeth

I will go into the bathroom with both kids to make sure they are actually doing what they are supposed to. But I talk and guide them through the process just in case they forget (which happens almost every night! You know how that goes…). I also show them how I brush my teeth and how I soap up in the shower to kinda guide them along.

Make it enjoyable

My daughter likes to bring her iPad into the bathroom with her to listen to Pandora. It makes it more fun for her because she loves music. For my son, I have to be more creative so I’ll do stuff to make him smile. He’s a silly boy so it’s not that hard! He makes me laugh more than anything! I try not to do too much though since it’s close to bedtime because they should be settling down.

Spend time

I like to spend quality time with my kids before they go to bed. I’ve read a few articles about how spending just a few minutes a day with each child can promote a connection and foster a desire for them to want to talk to you when they have problems or concerns about something. I will do it either before or after their bathroom time (depending on how long they take in the bathroom).

Wind-down activities

girl reading

My go-to wind-down activities are reading and activity books. I try to ensure this part is nice and quiet. There is no running or horse playing! We also talk sometimes about anything they want or I’ll ask some questions about their feelings or what they like. I found a blog with more wind-down here, lots of great suggestions!

So what about you?

What bedtime routines have you set up for your little ones? What have you tried that didn’t work so well? Let me know!

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