When I meet a new mom, one of the things I am almost most curious about is their children’s bedtime routine.
Some have no routine, just winging it. Others are strict about their routine, creating plans around it. I have friends that co-sleep, friends that have kids sharing a room, friends whose kids have slept in their own bed since day one. Some have children that go to sleep at 7pm and some at 10pm.
Every family is different and I sometimes like hearing other routines or lack their of because it allows me to evaluate our routine and consider some tweaks if necessary.
I am going to let you in on our routine, so you can do the same.
We are a household of routine. I am the sole provider of child care in my home 5-6 nights a week, so dinner bath bedtime is all me. In order to not go insane (myself or the children) we have a pretty set schedule and the kids know what is coming next. Cam goes to preschool three days a week and on those days I pick him up at 330pm and we are home by 4pm. From that point, unless we have a play date, we are home for the night. The only time our schedule tends to change is if we had a long day (at the pool or beach, visiting family etc.) otherwise it is set.
5-530pm – I prepare dinner, then fed the children and myself
530-6pm – I clean up the kitchen, give Lily her bedtime milk, and get anything together that we may need from downstairs
6-630pm – the kids get a bath together, I get Lily out and lotion her up then get her dressed in the bathroom while Cam plays a little longer, we brush teeth + clean ears, then Cam gets lotion and gets dressed
630-7pm – we read a book in Lilys room, tuck her in with her blanket + “beebees” and give her kisses, and she goes to sleep and we head to Cams room, if his room is a mess we “put his toys to sleep”, he picks which toys he is going to go night night with, then we read two more books (one in mommys lap and one in bed), he gets tucked in and I say goodnight (I say two books, but sometimes two is actually five)
* This timeline is subject to change if Daddy is coming home, Cam will stay up later to see him. If Cam napped late, he will stay up until 8pm. If Lily struggled with naps, she’ll go to bed around 6-630pm. Everyday with kids is different so you never really know if things will be on schedule. Like tonight, we did everything exactly by this timeline but because Cam stood at his door screaming then I went back in then I left and he stood at the door screaming again, he JUST got back into bed and settled down at 835pm.
No matter what time your kids go to bed, I believe a good bedtime routine is key to getting them to know what is next and expect bedtime at the end.
Routines aren’t fool proof and sometimes kids are just onry no matter what.