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Following dinner (where even the littles help clear the table), a quick clean-up of the main living areas (where everyone helps or Mama gets cranky), and family time (which usually includes playing outside or taking a walk in our neighborhood), Our Bedtime Routine looks something like this:
which includes lots of fun and laughter…usually.
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which typically involves lots of hugs and belly kisses…and pants turned the wrong direction.
My kids love to drag this part out as long as possible. ha! Please actually brush your teeth instead of just sucking the toothpaste off the brush and swallowing it.
Our favorite time of day! Ahh, there’s nothing sweeter than freshly bathed little ones in their pjs (even if their pants are on backwards)! This is the part of the evening when everyone in our house takes a big breath and starts to relax, and this year, we started incorporating The Bedtime Basket in to our family time. It has been the perfect thing for our crew. The key? Starting Bedtime Routine early enough that there is space for enjoying each other in whatever way your family chooses!
Speaking of time, you must also plan for SOMEONE to poop their pants IMMEDIATELY following their taking a bath and getting dressed in clean pjs.
So, so sweet – a really precious time for us (after the poop is cleaned up, of course). The Jesus Storybook Bible is perfect for bedtime reading.
which is our effort to make sure no one calls our name until the sun comes up the next morning, and this works well…most nights. 😉
P.S. Our oldest is allowed one additional trip to the bathroom without having to ask us. haha! I felt crazy typing that sentence just now, but seriously…he’s kind of in a different stage than his little brother, so we’ve tried to adjust accordingly. These days, he’s getting extra reading time before lights out, so an additional trip to the potty is only fair, right?
We turn on their music, give goodnight hugs & kisses, and turn out the lights. Steve Green’s Hide ’em in Your Heart songs are our favorite for bedtime music!
We do not stay in the room…we do not lay with our kiddos until they fall asleep…we do not entertain discussion/arguing about what’s happening, etc…we leave the room…with all the love in our hearts.
For peace of mind we love our VTech VM341-216 Bear 2 Camera Full Color Video Monitor!
This baby monitor comes with a teddy bear-shaped camera…
and an additional camera that can be placed in a second location.
Both cameras feature automatic night vision and full-color video that displays on a large 4.3-inch color LCD screen.
This allows me to watch my pre-schooler in his open-sided tot bed as well as hear my oldest say “I love you, Mama.” from his room. #nevergetsold
That’s not all! We’ve actually been able to add our baby girl’s VTech monitor as well, so we can also watch her in her crib! We love being able to keep an eye on all three rooms at one time.
As new parents, we understood the important of a bedtime routine, and the key to keeping things running smoothly around our house in the evenings has been consistency. Our kids know what to expect, and at this point, they are able to independently carry out a good portion of the routine without much help from us. They love taking ownership and “being in charge” of the events of the evening, so we let them!
Establishing this routine has definitely cut down on tantrums/meltdowns because there are no surprises. The key for us is starting the routine/getting everyone in bed before they are so exhausted that they fall apart. If we wait too long, we typically regret it. But when that happens (and sometimes it does!), we push through a shortened version of the routine and get everyone to their rooms as quickly as possible.
Our kiddos have a consistent bedtime that we try to stick pretty close to throughout the week – except for a couple of nights a week where our kids have activities that run a bit later. This bedtime provides hubby and I with time to ourselves to relax or work on projects. If you are not taking this time together in the evenings, I would strongly recommend it. It has been important for us to remember that we were a family before the kids came along and we need time to invest in each other – and our little ones need their rest.
With the hubs and I working together, we have found a system that works great for us in this season, and I promise it is possible for the same thing to happen in your home. You can find an approach that works for your family and carry it out with consistency…even if the first attempts and bringing some calm to the crazy don’t go so well.
It is never too late to establish a good bedtime routine. If you have not had one in the past or if you feel you need to adjust yours to make it run more smoothly, it may be a little tricky [initially] to get everyone used to the new plan, but I promise you – it will eventually become the norm and you will love the benefits!
Question: Are there times when your little ones fight bedtime?
Answer: Absolutely! When they’re overly tired, the crying and protesting begins: “I don’t wanna go to bed!” What do we do? We ignore, because we know they’re exhausted. Why drag out a conversation with a tired kiddo? We tuck them in…kiss them goodnight…and leave the room. Bedtime is bedtime & they’re usually asleep within minutes. We never ever ever ignore cries that are coming from a legitimate need…totally different ballgame…and parents are great at knowing the difference between bedtime stalling and a child who truly needs their mommy or daddy close!
Have a little one that needs a little extra motivation? What about using something like this to help them out a bit?
You can download and print these cuties here for free.
With the holidays just around the corner, maybe you know of a fellow mom who could use a little extra encouragement! How about putting together a ready-to-go Bedtime Basket just for her and her family to enjoy? Not sure how to make this happen? Let me help you out!
Step #1: Choose a small-medium basket or container of some sort. Hobby stores or department stores may be a good place to find what you have in mind.
Step #2: Gather a variety of items that her kids might enjoy doing at bedtime. What would they like to read? What do they enjoy doing? Do they have a favorite animal or character or superhero? Do they enjoy letters and numbers? Would they love to receive a new children’s Bible? You could go any and all directions with this!
Step #3: Fill the basket and deliver it to their doorstep!
This could make an especially great gift for a family who is welcoming a new addition. Want to take it to the next level? You could even include the VTech VM341-216 Bear Video Monitor for the growing family! Maybe the Morning & Bedtime Task Charts would be helpful for them, too!
If you’re like me, you enjoy gifting others with practical items that will help to make their life a little easier, and I can promise you the family you have in mind this holiday season will love the fact that you took the time to put together a Bedtime Basket with them in mind!