I saw someone post their bedtime routine on another page recently and I loved the idea. When the kids were babies I was always on the hunt for tips to tame my little Sleep Raiders. It took a bit of trial and error to perfect our routine but this is what works for us*
*except when the 4yr old is tantruming and the 6yr old is sulking. If so then add at least an hour to each of these timings…
6pm – Bathtime with lots of lavender-infused baby bubbles (kids love it and it makes them really sleepy – supposedly ha ha. Nope.)
6:30pm – The kids are usually dressed in their PJs and cleaning teeth. That’s a whole other blog in itself. I never knew coercing a child into cleaning their teeth could be so stressful.
6:40pm – All downstairs for one final TV programme whilst the kids drink a small cup of warm milk. We tend to choose less bombastic shows at this time such as CBeebies’ Melody or Charlie & Lola.
7pm – Back upstairs for ‘final wees’ and then Matt and I take it in turns to read to each of the girls. Their stories vary wildly from bedroom to bedroom. E’s reading Harry Potter at the moment, whilst J is firmly stuck in a Peppa Pig muddy puddle phase. You can guess which book we’re fighting over…
7:10pm – Lights out. Blackout blinds are a godsend with knocking kids into a good sleep routine. We never travel without them for Jess, whereas Emily can settle easily without one these days.
I’m pretty tough on my kids when it comes to nighttime wondering. It’s a different matter if someone needs a wee or is sick, but if they’re just playing up I tend to be quite firm. They both have gro-clocks and they’re under no illusions that creeping out before their 7am ‘happy sun face’ has popped up equals one very grumpy mummy!
Tomorrow I’ll go into more detail about how we cracked the elusive 11-12hr stretch with both girls…