We’ve established a bedtime routine with all our children. The teenagers no longer stick to a routine…at least not one I’m aware of! Most recently, our 5 year old son, Simon (SJA), has tried to challenge the routine without success. Since he was a toddler we had a bedtime routine. We’ve modified it, but it’s basically the same. His latest rants ‘I’m not ready to sleep’, ‘Sierra’s not in the bed’, ‘I want daddy to read me a story’….the list is endless. However, he still manages to fall asleep by 8:30pm, most nights.
A bedtime routine gives children a sense of calm and security; but could drive you nutty in the process.
Here’s the routine that works for me.
1hr before bedtime:
Mum: Simon here’s your milk!
A cup of warm strawberry milk. It soothes him and he knows bedtime is near.
Mum: Simon, it’s time to take a bath.
SJA: I don’t want to take a bath…I don’t want to go to bed!!!
A warm bath followed by lathering his body in baby oil/lotion. The scent is soothing and I need to remain calm.
Mum: Time to brush your teeth and put on your PJs!
SJA: You brush it mommy. My hand is tired!
Dental hygiene is important to your child’s health. Night time brushing is essential.
Mum: Don’t forget to use the bathroom!
SJA: I did!
Using the bathroom helps avoid accidents that can interrupt sleep (yours and his)
Mum: You have 5 minutes….then we’ll say our prayers.
SJA: Ok, I’m going to grandma’s room
Mum: Simon, it’s time for prayers.
SJA: I’m not ready yet. Sierra’s not in her bed!
We say our prayers (spiritual connection is important to our family)
SJA: Mommy read the Grandpa Book please.
Story time is a special bonding time for us.
Hugs and kisses and lights out. However, his closet light is turned on.
Some nights he falls right off to sleep. Other nights…..not so quickly.
SJA: Mom, mommy, MOM!!! I’m not tired!
Mum: Relax Simon and close your eyes.
SJA: Can I have some water? I’m thirsty.
Mum: Good night Simon.
SJA is fast asleep hugging one of his bears.
There’s no perfect routine. However, a routine is important. Sticking to a routine requires a great deal of sacrifice. It’s hard work, but worth it. Once you’ve found a routine that works, stick to it. No matter what your little one may try, be consistent! It’s beneficial for kids to adopt healthy sleep habits. It’s also important for a mom to have some down time. A balanced lifestyle requires down time. So if you’re experiencing bedtime woes, try developing a routine. It’s not too late. Good luck and sweet dreams!