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WHY IS A BEDTIME ROUTINE SO IMPORTANT YOU ASK?
Establishing a bedtime routine is one of the most important steps of teaching your child good sleeping habits. Children thrive on consistency. And a set routine for going to bed is essential to them. When you have a successful bedtime routine in place, your children have time to prepare for sleep.
Here are 7 Tips for Creating the Perfect Bedtime Routine:
Bathtime is my kids favorite part of the bedtime routine. We usually head straight to the bathtub when they have finished eating their dinner because they are usually covered in food. They absolutely love splashing in the bath and playing with their water toys. Sitting in the warm water helps my kids to relax while at the same time I can get them clean. I love using this shampoo and body wash with my kids.
However, if your child does not love taking baths you might not want to include it in your bedtime routine.
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Getting your kids in their pj’s is a perfect opportunity for one on one interaction while they are calming down. After the kids are all dried off from their bath, I usually take them to their rooms and get them dressed for bed. For the baby, I will put diaper cream and a diaper on along with his sleeper pajamas. Sometimes I will also tickle his feet and play little games with him while I get him dressed.
And my 5 year old usually gets herself dressed in her pj’s. Although, I do help her dry her hair on colder nights.
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3. BEDTIME STORY
Reading a bedtime story with your kids is a special routine that helps them to wind down. I also believe it is a good time to let their minds wander before they go to sleep.
We have read a book to our daughter every night since she was a baby. I remember when she was only a few months old and I would read her a couple of the Dr. Suess books while she drank her bottle.
Now years later she still loves to sit in my lap and listen to me and my husband read stories to her. She will ask questions about the stories and I truly think it helps her to wind down for bed. My 14-month-old, on the other hand, doesn’t quite understand that it is a time for calming down.
4. SAY A PRAYER
If you are not religious, you can totally skip this part. This is just what my family does.
Saying a prayer lets my kids know that Heavenly Father is watching over them. I also believe that saying prayers together as a family has brought us closer together.
One of us will usually say a good night prayer. When Aubrey says hers it is almost something like,”Thank you for this day, thank you for all you’ve given, and help us to have good night sleep.” For a 5-year-old I think she does a phenomenal job.
5. SING A SONG
I can’t remember when or why we added singing a song to our bedtime routine but we have been doing this for years. We all sing a song together that Aubrey has chosen for that night. Her favorite one lately is “Part of Your World,” from the Disney movie, The Little Mermaid.
6. HUGS AND KISSES
My favorite part of the bedtime routine is giving hugs and kisses. If I haven’t been able to say “I love you” or hug my kids during the day, I can let them know at bedtime before they go to sleep how much they are loved.
My husband and I will say goodnight to Aubrey and give her a hug and kiss. We also will make sure she has her stuffed bear that she loves to sleep with and is covered up nice and warm.
Many children sleep with some type of light on because a dark room can be a very scary place for children especially if they sleep alone.
Aubrey sleeps with two night lights in her room. She has a standard night light that plugs into the outlet close to her bed and she also has one that was my husband’s when he was a little boy. It has a light in the middle with a shade type thing over it and it spins. The shade has cars on it also so when it spins the light shines through causing cars to light up her walls. After her night lights are on we always say, “Goodnight, Sweet Dreams, Sleep Good, I Love You, Goodnight.” Every night without fail.
This is usually the time where I take the baby to his room to nurse him. We sit in the recliner and I rock him while nursing. At this time my husband turns the light off and turns my son’s projector and sound machine on and kisses him goodnight. Let just quickly say that my son’s sound machine has saved our lives. With it on he is not woken up by every little noise anymore and he sleeps longer.
Owen generally won’t nurse to sleep anymore so when he’s done I just rock him for a few minutes, then kiss him and lay him down in his crib.
I also give him his favorite giraffe that he can’t sleep without. Finally, I cover him up with his blanket and leave the room.
YOU CAN DO IT!
Okay so maybe my routine doesn’t always go as planned. There are times where my kids are too grouchy to listen to a story or maybe they want two songs, but getting some type of ritual in place will help you tremendously with getting your kids to go to sleep. They will know when it is time to wind down and you will also have a set time for yourself and your spouse at night. Whatever you do always make sure that it works for your family because every family is different.
Do you know someone who is struggling to create a successful bedtime routine for their children?If so, Pass it along!
Do you have a bedtime routine for your child? Please tell me in the comments.