Family Bedtime Tips from a Mom of 7 and Bedtime Book Giveaway

bedtime routineHaving 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.

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.

precious moments giveaway

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:

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.

precious moments

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!

Rachel

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure: Product supplied by publisher; all opinions are my own. Site may be compensated if purchase is made. Full disclosure policy here.

Comments

  1. says

    My favorite story was the Velveteen Rabbit because I had a little stuffed rabbit that looked just like the rabbit in the story. I have read the story to my son and he loves it just as much as I do. :)

  2. Mary T says

    Hi Rachel! Bedtime is a busy time here at my daughter’s. She is a single mom, if I am not here to help her, just getting Andrew to his bed is challenging. Once in bed he has a beautiful care routine that my daughter does on most nights. It is hard for Shamus, her 2 year old, to wait it out. If I am here, Shamus and I hang out, reading, rocking, whatever works to calm him into sleep mode. I would love to share a new book with the little guy. Thanks for sharing! God bless!

  3. Mary T says

    Forgot to add that my favorite bedtime story as a child was a book of nursery rhymes and I shared that with my own children. Andrew doesn’t really love the rhymes. He prefers stories by Nancy Tillman that remind him how special he is… like “On the Night you were Born”….or “I’d Know You Anywhere My Love”. He also enjoys Bible stories, especially when I add to them with my own words!

  4. Rachel Cartucci says

    I loved a book called Charlie when I was a kid…it was a Golden book about a cat and I still have that book and read it to my son very often.

  5. Joanne says

    While I was growing up, I did not have a story time before bed. My 3 and 4 year old boys really like the Berenstain Bears, and the later Berenstain Bears and we read a Bible Story, and they like The Runaway Bunny, Goodnight Moon, and Guess How Much I Love You.

  6. Lynn Cox says

    I am a big reader and need to instill it more in my girls. This would be a great one to get us started on!
    Goldilocks, Hansel and Gretal were favorites growing up

  7. Kandy says

    Would love to read something spiritual like this to my youngest(6). Bedtime with her usually means about 2 to 4 stories about my childhood before she falls asleep. Then it is on to check in on my 17 yr old, tell him goodnight , and then snuggle up with my 12 year old daughter to hear about her day. Even though I enjoy it, by the time I make it to my own bed I am exhausted. Great encouragement hearing how you do this with 7!

  8. Melissa says

    We love reading as part of our nightly routine. Maybe we can add this to our lineup. Thanks for the giveaway.

  9. Katie says

    One of my favorite stories was from a precious moments storybook. It was a story of a little girl who got money to buy a special doll for her birthday from her grandparents and she didn’t have enough to get one for her friend Becky too. Her and her mom prayed and the next day her mom surprised both girls with the doll, one for each of them. I still have my copy of this book from when I was a kid and read it to my daughter often. And her favorite story is the same as mine :)

  10. Rachel says

    I love precious moments. I had a precious moments bible as a kid as well as a book of stories my mom read to me. I would love to be able to do that with my little girls

  11. Tera says

    Great ideas-thank you! I have a almost 3 year old and about to have our 2nd in a fee months, I think I really need to be better about consistency and a set routine.

  12. Jenn says

    Growing up in a 3rd world, I didn’t Have bedtime stories, nor the comfort of growing up with my parents, as they sacrificed a lot to put us in Christian boarding schools, where we learned almost everything or as much about God and His love for us. Now, with or without books, I am blessed to instil this knowledge in my 3 yr old daughter’s heart. A children’s bible or resource would be great to have. Thank you for your post, and your blog which is filled with lots of encouragement.

  13. says

    Hey Rachel,

    I just stumbled upon your blog, it’s so inspiring! You have an incredible story and I just wanted to encourage you, you are blessing many people around this world :) I am from Melbourne, Australia and wanted to say thank you so much and bless you!

    Nat xx