When I browse around on Facebook once my girls are asleep for the night, I see so many parents needing advice and help on getting their kids to go to sleep or getting them to bed on time or just how stressful it is trying to get their kids to go to sleep. I am going to admit it, I was there not to long ago. It was everything I could do to get the girls to go to sleep at a decent time and after all of the struggles and whining, I would need an adult drink once they were asleep because it was just so stressful. I knew if it stressed me out this much then it stressed them out just as much.
I do not claim to be an expert on parenting, but this is the few simple things I do that have helped our family so much when it comes to bed and I want to share because it just might help another family get better sleep. The bedtime routine starts as soon as Aubreigh gets home from school, keep on reading to see what I mean.
• As soon as your kids get home from school, go ahead and let them do their homework. Not only will they be able to do their homework better because it is still fresh in their mind, but you won’t be running into the “I still need to get my homework done” when bedtime starts getting close.
• When homework is done, let kids run outside. I know my girls have a ton of energy, so if they don’t run it all out during the day they will take it to bed with them and it will make it harder to go to sleep. We usually go outside and jump on the trampoline and play with the puppy for a good hour or so.
• Around 5 or 5:30, go ahead and put them in the shower. This only goes for the younger ones. I put my girls in bed at 7:30 so adjust according to their bed time. My girls love to play in the bath tub and they have stayed in there for an hour before. If you plan on only 30 minutes for a bath or do it right before you put them to bed, then y’all both will probably get stressed out. Kids will want to play and parents will be rushing to get them to bed on time. I put my kids in the bath tub probably early than most parents, but they get to play as long as they want and neither of us get stressed or rushed.
• 30 minutes before they go to bed, give them dinner. Since my girls go to bed at 7:30, they eat dinner around 7. Now please remember, this is what I do with my girls and it works well for us, I’m not a parenting expert :). I know before I had this routine, my girls would eat around 7, then I would do bath, then they would get in bed and be hungry again. This keeps pushing back bed time. So that is why I decided to feed them dinner right before they went to bed. They go to sleep with a full belly and you don’t have to worry about every 5 minutes hearing “Mommy I’m Hungry” or the famous “Mommy I’m Thirsty”.
• My girls take around 20 minutes to eat and that still gives us plenty of time to brush our teeth, use the bathroom and pick out a story. By the time we brush our teeth the girls are ready to go to bed. We have calmed down, they have full bellies and are ready to go to sleep. They have had enough time to wind down after their bath that they are still not gitty from it. I put them in the bed by 7:30 every night (even on the weekends, I do not want them to get out of their routine) and I read them one story. I do let them watch 30 minutes of TV (I know a lot of parents don’t agree with this, but again, this is what works the best for my family). Every night when I go in there at 8 to turn the TV off they are both sound asleep. It doesn’t take them long to fall asleep.
My kids sleep from around 7:30 to 8 at night until 6:45 am when I wake them up for school. It is very important for kids to get enough sleep so they can do their best at school. I hope a few of my tips will help at least one family have a stress free night time routine.
**I am not a parenting expert. I am just sharing a few tips I have found to work for my family and maybe they can for yours**