Having a bedtime routine is great way to wind down the day. As mom to 6 kiddos still at home, having a routine for our family is especially important due to the span of ages. From age 17 with special needs down to age 2, each child has their own individualized routine to some degree. Today I wanted to give you the best family bedtime tips I’ve learned from my parenting years. When children know what to expect, they feel secure and empowered.
1. Be consistent on the time to be in bed.
While flexibility is a great asset for any family, being consistent is the best way to establish healthy sleep habits. We try to have the same time range each night that we go through the routines. During the school year, we vary 15 minutes or so either way if needed.
2. Use a checklist for visual assistance.
If you have a child who loves to check off lists, then having a checklist can be just the thing to keep them focused. Using a checklist is also great if you are decide to introduce a new element to the routine or you just simply want to begin establishing a routine for the first time. We don’t have a checklist, but we have a usual order of to-do items. ** ADDENDUM 8/11: FREE Printable Checklist HERE.
3. Have a typical order of events.
Wow- that sounds a little formal, huh? Our routine is bath, pajamas, hair, short playtime, snack, teeth, and books. I know for some this may seem rigid, but my children have always been able to follow the routine, even in my absence. They also go to sleep somewhat easily when staying somewhere other than home because we follow the typical order of events, even if we’re staying up later or have some other exception to our environment.
4. Know what comforts your child and provide it.
Use whatever lights, music, or blankets that your child enjoys and loves. We do our best to take the lullaby CD with us on overnight trips. The younger kids have certain stuffed animals, etc. that they love to sleep with and we try to make room for at least one or two comfort items for travelling.
5. Enjoy this time together.
The times I’ve had to rush at bedtime because I waited too late to begin or we had some other exception caused regret later. Some days are too full to take 20 minutes to read at night. But we do whatever we can. Some nights this winter, we started earlier and this gave everyone time to read or look at books alone in bed for a few extra minutes before lights out.
When my children were younger, I often couldn’t wait for them to go to bed because I was simply one.tired.mama. But I’ve found that the older I get, the more I want to soak up this time- since I realize how quickly it will pass. There are many different ways to enjoy bedtime routines as a family, but the tips above are just a few of my favorites, especially number 5.
Speaking of enjoying the time, BOOKS! Yes, books are such a staple in our nighttime routines, especially in winter. Today I wanted to share this adorable Precious Moments Little Book of Bedtime. Perfect for snuggling with ages 1-4, the nostalgic characters win over both children and parents. This particular book holds both traditional and original poems and prayers, as well as Scriptures. I thought you might enjoy a sneak peek:
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And I thought you might enjoy a couple coloring pages for artwork earlier in the evening before reading this book or the following morning after reading it. Click HERE or on the graphic below to enjoy 5 Precious Moments coloring pages from Tommy Nelson.
Ok, Friends! I know you want to enter the fabulous giveaway for this lovely little book. If you’d like to order one, you can find it right HERE. Follow the rafflecopter to enter the one copy giveaway.
Have a great day!
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