Everybody needs bedtime routines that can help us prepare for bed and sleep better. Yet, when we think of bedtime routines, we tend to picture adults unwinding at the end of a long day. Kids, too, need a routine that will prepare them to enter the dream world.
It’s tough to relax when you’ve had so much fun! Especially when you consider that most kids have an adventurous lifestyle nowadays. From sports to exciting birthday parties and the emphasis on play, kids have many outlets to spend their energy. Of course, you can help them get rid of the surplus of energy. This is where a bedtime routine can help.
Bedtime Routines for Kids
So, what should a bedtime routine look like for children? The truth is that most parents believe that the bedtime routine is all about putting the kids to bed early. In reality, the routine should be more about helping them get in the right mood for bed and prepare for the next day.
Therefore, setting a consistent bedtime routine goes beyond merely ensuring your little ones get a good night’s sleep. It’s a recipe for enhancing their well-being, relaxing, and creating a moment of peace before sleeping. So, what should you include in your bedtime routine?
Steps to a Good Bedtime Routine
- Set a time to start getting ready for bed.
- Bath and pajamas follow.
- Kids or Parents pick books to read together.
- Say a goodnight prayer together.
- Say goodnight to each child individually.
Have a set time that you start getting the kids ready for bed. The tone is set after dinner. Bathtime and calming lotions help to create a soothing and relaxed time.
Bathtime can be a time of play with fun bathtime activities that allow your child to sit in the tub for a bit. After, pajama time and picking books to read are great next steps.
In our family, we sat together on the bed. I would read the books that the children picked. If you have multiple children, assign days to each child. Read their book MWF and then their sibling’s book TTS. Mom or Dad gets to pick on Sundays. Reading to your child is such a quality way to spend time winding down. Reading together before bedtime enhances that bond.
After this we said a prayer together as a family. The children get tucked into bed and we say good night to each of them.
The Reality of Good Bedtime Routines for Kids
In a perfect world, the kids would stay in their beds and drift off to sleep at this point. It takes a few weeks to establish a new routine in the home. Small children need time to adapt to new expectations. Life changes will affect this too. So, bottom line is: be patient and stick to the bedtime plan. It will become more natural for everyone in time.
When you have a baby, start a bedtime routine. It may not be perfectly in line with the list I gave you here, but in time it will become standard for the evening.
We always had a bedtime routine. But, every time we added a new baby we had to adjust. Now with older kids, they remind my husband and me about the time to get ready for bed. They have learned and it helps our household stay on a good schedule.
Try these great book ideas for babies to add to the bedtime reading list.
What does your bedtime routine look like? Have you had to change it over time to work better for your family?
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