Our oldest daughter has never had a bedtime routine. She has never had a specific bedtime or a routine until it was time for her to transition into Kindergarten. It’s no secret that in some cases allowing children stay up and not fight them to bed is less stressful. For us, that was the case. However, something magical happened when we set a specific bedtime for both of our daughters.
My husband and I found that setting a routine and a specific time for bed for both girls allowed us to have more time to ourselves to unwind in the evening.
CREATING A BEDTIME ROUTINE THAT WORKS
I think the most important thing to keep in mind when creating a routine for kids is their capability to complete tasks at hand.
Then structure that routine around their abilities.
For instance, our girls go to bed at the same time each night. Our oldest can brush her teeth by herself but the youngest still needs help.
So structuring your evening around when those routines need to happen is key.
I like to set the bedtime then work backward from there with the oldest getting bathroom time first.
This will make the bedtime routine go more smoothly.
THE STRUGGLE OF THE BEDTIME ROUTINE
When you start any new routine there will be ups and downs. There may even be some setbacks but the most important thing you can do is to keep at it.
Don’t give up or give in to their demands. We had weeks of sulking because she never had to go to bed before dark before this.
Just staying consistent in your messaging about this bedtime routine is key.
GET VISUAL AIDS
We had a sudden change in attitude when she was able to have visuals with that led her through her routine. I was getting less fuss from her as she learned how to be more independent. That in my book is a win-win.
ENCOURAGE QUIET TIME IN THEIR ROOM
When we started a bedtime routine for the kids we had to handhold for a little while, but that’s to be expected.
We would spend at least a half hour in the oldest daughters bedroom before her bedtime.
We’ve gotten to the point now where we have encouraged quiet time for them to read before bed. We will read to them and then they can sit up until their bedtime and play quietly or read.
This can allow for you to tend to the younger kids while the older kids are still going through the motions of their routine.
MORE TIME TO DO OTHER THINGS
When you commit to putting the kids to bed you suddenly find time in your day to do the things you’ve been wanting to do or couldn’t.
Like taking care of yourself for once. It’s truly a wonderful thing.
Suddenly my husband and I could make the 1-2 hours before bed about us.
Every couple needs that time together. It’s crucial for every relationship and for each person as an individual to have uninhibited time to just unwind and let the stresses of each day go.
RELATED: ROUTINES & SCHEDULES SIMPLIFIED
SO WHAT DO I NEED TO DO AGAIN?
Just remember with anything new there will be setbacks and it might take a while to get used too.
- Structure your evenings around the kid’s abilities when setting a routine.
- Get visual with their routines. This can promote independence and responsibility.
- Encourage quiet time in their rooms.
- Relax and focus on yourself or those pesky tasks that you can never get done.
What do you do in your home to encourage routines? I’d love to hear from you.
Routines & Schedules That Work For You
Create routines for your family that work for you with a free routines printable.