Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Bedtime routine

Despite my love of all things organization, we've never really had a bedtime routine in our family. I never had one as a kid and I pretty much just went to bed when I was tired. I didn't have a nap schedule and there was no set story time.

This worked fine for a while, but it also set us up for a lot of tears at bedtime. Just 5 more minutes was a common phrase in our house. So, now that we're in our first home we have developed a bedtime routine. This is as much for E's benefit, because she'll have an expectation of a timeline, but it is for Jason and I too.

See, we moved into our first two-story house. Really, including our basement (which is awesome and our primary TV/family room), it's basically 3 stories. That is a lot of stairs and distance between sweet E and us. In fact, if we were to put her to bed in her room, we couldn't even hear her crying in the basement. Not ok.

So, now bed time goes a little something like this (depending on when we get around to bath time)

7:45(ish): Daddy does bath, Mommy does dishes
8:15 (ish): Out of the tub, jammies, hair brush, silly/cuddle time
8:30 (ish): Potty & teeth brushing
8:35: Story time, big hugs, big kisses, more cries for hugs/kisses, picking of the stuffed toy, night night It looks a little something like this...

I should mention that a significant portion of our routine is dedicated to this sassy black cat, Manny. He has made it his mission to love on our girl... even when she is sleeping. So, he has incorporated himself into bedtime with cuddles and trying to wrap around her head on the pillow...

Then, rather than retreat back to the TV, Jason and I usually head across the hall to our room. I have made a big deal about not having a TV in our room and after 6 years of marriage, we've stuck to it. Prior to being this our house, we would have sat for at least another hour in front the TV. NOW, we have a conversation, read a book, occasionally watch a movie/TV show on the kindle. It's kind of awesome. We're loving it.

This routine has made each of us better. We use a countdown system from about 10 minutes to kick off the routine and that makes he feel more in control. She has the opportunity to finish up whatever activity she is working on and be "ready" for bed.

PS. I promise to have pics of her super cute room up soon. Just a few final details that are coming together.


  1. I think kids crave routine. It does make them feel secure and safe--even if it does take some getting used to! Good luck! Visiting from the MBM!

  2. Good for you for making it work. We tried to keep a very similar routine, but then my son likes to stay up another hour or more sometimes. I've found that I can lead a toddler to bed, but I can't make him sleep. Unfortunately, the new routine has become "play until he collapses" (not as fun as it sounds).