Parenting

Parenting Hacks: Establishing A Bedtime Routine

“I’m just a girl, standing in front of the clock, asking it to be my kid’s bedtime.” – www.frenchblissme.com

You guys. Raise your hand if you have ever watched the clock, hoping and praying for it to finally be bedtime!

Guilty. So guilty.

One thing we have struggled with since my daughter was a baby was getting her to go to sleep. She has always been that child who doesn’t want to miss anything. And let me tell you, that hasn’t changed.

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I will let you in on a little secret. I am obsessed with Super Nanny. Literally, obsessed.

I watched her everyday when I was a stay at home mom. Religiously. I even kept my favorite episodes on the DVR. Yup, I was that person.

Something she talks about almost every episode is establishing a bedtime routine with your little one. Setting down boundaries and sticking to them night after night.

We started being consistent when it came to nighttime at our house when my daughter was about 18 months old. What a difference this has made!

I will never forget when she was about two years old and we couldn’t stop her from coming out of her bed. I spent a few weeks putting her back in bed every single time she came out. I’m talking 30-40 times in an hour.

I was determined to fix our nights and after a few weeks, she started staying in her bed. Finally.

Today, she may not go right to sleep, ever, but we have a bedtime routine locked down and we try to keep to it every single night.

If you are going through a rough patch at night with your little one or just looking to revamp your evenings, I want to share with you the routine we have created that has worked for us! Our nights are so much more relaxed and peaceful today!

Our Bedtime Routine:

*Keep in mind, my daughter is 6 so if you’re children are older or younger, you can tweak it to fit your needs!*

Between 6:00 and 6:15 – Shower/bath time! I usually let my little one play in the shower for a little while after she is done washing.

6:45 – 7:15 – On Tuesdays and Thursdays, my daughter has karate which goes from 6:30-7:15 so our times are a little different those nights! Every other day of the week, this is the time that is the most important in our house. During this half an hour, we really start winding down and relaxing. Homework is done, dinner is finished and we are either watching a TV show or playing quietly. These times aren’t exact but we try to keep it around this time each night!

7:15 – 7:30 – Next is brushing teeth and turning down the bed. She picks out the toys she wants to sleep with and picks out her music for the night.

7:30 – 8:00 – This is probably my favorite part of the day. We cuddle up on the couch or in my daughter’s bed and we read. We pick either one chapter book or a few smaller reads. This has been a priority at our house for a few years now and I hope it stays this way for a long time! Unless we are away or it is a holiday, we read every single night and right before she goes to bed for the night. This is such a great way to unwind, spend time and bond together!

8:00 – Bedtime at our house! We make it a point to be home as many nights as possible in time for her to be in bed by 8:00. Since she doesn’t go to sleep right away, or within the hour honestly, it is important for her to be laying down and in for the night around this time!

Here are a few tips on establishing your own routine:

  • Consistency is key. Now, this doesn’t mean you can’t have some nights where your routine is different. Especially on the weekends, we may stay up a little bit later to watch a movie or visit the grandparents but typically we try to stay on schedule. Be fluid but consistent!
  • Be realistic. I found this to be so important when we were figuring out what would work for us. Really evaluate your schedule and your expectations and decide on a routine from there.
  • Ignore outside influences. There are SO many opinions out there, from the internet to family members, everyone has an idea of how you should parent. Block everyone else out and focus on your family’s needs.
  • Don’t expect perfection. It has taken us years, I mean years, to get this down. Let your child know your expectations but don’t expect them to all of a sudden go to bed quickly and easily. Give them some time to get used to the new routine and try not to get too frustrated.
  • Be okay with tweaking and changing your routine. You may come up with an ideal routine and then a year later, your schedule changes and so your nights need to too. That’s okay! Be open to changing and tweaking your routine. You may have to change your night 10 times but you will find what works.

Do you have a bedtime routine that you have implemented in your house? I would love to hear what you do at night to get ready for bed! Comment below! XOXO

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