Finding the right Bedtime Routine: Kipper is now twenty months old and I feel that we have finally managed to get a good routine in place for bedtime. In other words he doesn’t spend any of his sleeping hours in our double bed, although he still tends to come in for a cuddle in the morning. If you are regular readers of Mudpie Fridays you will known that its taken us a while. I will never really understand why it has taken a lot longer than it did with Monkey. I can only surmise it is down to the individual character of the child as we did everything the same.
So what does our routine look like? Well I think Kippers bedtime has definitely been impacted by having an older sibling. The moment we stopped trying to do bedtime at the same time it really helped. It also helped Monkey who has started to insist that you sit with him until he fell asleep. Our old routine would mean Hubby and I wouldn’t sit down to eat until around 9pm each evening. Something had to change. We have tried a few variations but our new routine has been working for the last six weeks. I take Kipper up at half an hour before Monkey, we get ready for bed and have a short story. Then its time for me to pop him in his sleeping bag, turn off the main light and put our lumie light on, before giving him his bottle. We still use a slow flow teet on his one and only bottle of the day. I give him a kiss, make sure he can find his dummy, tell him I love him and leave the room. He now settles himself and very rarely stirs. We don’t bath the boys every night to protect their skin since Monkey use to have bad eczema. When we do they tend to have baths together. The only difference in our routine is the Monkey will pop downstairs for half an hour after his bath while Kipper settles down for the night.
Bedtime routines that work for one child may not work for another. Just like other parenting decisions bedtime is a personal one. With that in mind I have asked some other parents to share theirs:
- Katie – “We have a physical activity just before dinner like dancing or indoor assault course. Have dinner together which is followed by ten minutes on the tablet to let dinner go down before having a bath/shower (she chooses which). She has a massage after with baby oil and into jammies. We then usually play something quiet like block building or trains. She can then have a slice of toast or some fruit for supper if she’d like some. Then it is a big cuddle in bed with a book before laying down for bed once she has said goodnight to her grandparents.”
- Maria – “We go upstairs at 6:15 and go straight into Lily’s bedtime routine of milk then toilet, wash, teeth, PJ’s, book, set sleep training dog, turn on nightlight then a kids goodnight and Lily generally sleeps through until anytime between 5:30 and 6. We do this everyday except Tuesday and Thursday which are bath nights so we go up earlier.”
- Katy has some good advice for setting a routine for a four month old. Including their own experiences of working it through.
- Naomi – “Ours is really basic. We don’t bath every night as mine have sensitive skin. I have a 2 year old and 6 year old. At 6.45pm we change the littlest’s nappy and they both get pjs on. Any last drinks/snacks. I do a last breastfeed with my youngest at this point. At 7pm they go upstairs and do teeth, toilet etc. Then they get a bit of free play in my son’s room, get to read stories etc. Then my eldest gets tucked in and the little one goes upstairs to my room as we co-sleep. Her dad rocks her to sleep in a rocking chair and then she’s laid down once asleep. My eldest now goes to sleep without us staying with him (it took 5 years). We don’t sleep train in our house and follow gentle responsive ‘wait it out’ methods for allowing the children to sleep independently on their own terms when they are ready.”
- Danielle – has some tips for an autism friendly bedroom and bedtime routine including some products that have made a difference to her little one.
- Kate – “For our elder daughter it’s simply dinner, bath, book (and cereal – she’s so tiny and if she’s hungry we let her eat!), and bed. I usually tag in and out with her dad so I can attempt to feed her baby sister down whilst she’s having her book and brushing her teeth. Then I can be the one to tuck her in and sit with her for a few minutes, which is her preference. Naturally there are several variables which can dramatically alter this picture of domestic bliss. Two small people mean that more often than not there’s some protest or other, a few tears, and possibly a full-on meltdown thrown into the mix. And that’s before nighttime starts…”
I am sure as the boys get older our bedtime routines will adapt again, just as Louise’s has – “We used to do a bath and story before bed every night, now they’re a bit older they often shower in the morning so now it’s upstairs to do teeth, into pjs and then a little bit of reading in bed on their own before they go to sleep. It’s funny how you adapt as things like school and homework take over your evenings!”
Whats your top tip for bedtime routines? I would love to hear in the comments below.
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This is a collaborative post.