When someone says bed time routine, do you cringe a little? Do you find that some nights just seem to drag on far too long, and when you are so ready for bed, your little one is not quite ready yet? A bed time routine can help, not only you, but your little one get used to a routine and learn to know what to expect next each night.
Take a huge breath and relax, I will help you establish a nighttime routine that works for your family. In the post, I offer ideas and steps for you to take to find what works best for your family. To help you through this process, I have cerated this awesome bed time routine worksheet for you.
First, let talk about why a bed time routine is so important…
- The child will learn what to expect
- Which will help reduce any hesitations or delays at bedtime
- It will help you to know when to begin your routine
- It will make the transition to ‘lights out’ smoother
- Believe it or not, it will make waking up in the morning easier
Chose a time
When it comes to a consistent bed time routine, first determine what time you need your cherub(s) asleep by. You will want to begin your bed time routine well before lights out. For us, we start early. There’s showers, baths, brushing teeth, getting clothes ready for the morning, reading stories, tucking in, hugs and kisses… times four. So we begin our bedtime routine at 7:30, by 8:30 everyone is mostly situated.
For you and your family, determine how long your process takes. Use the free printable to jot down the things you normally do before bed time. Things like brushing teeth, playing on the floor together, cleaning up toys, reading a story [or 4]. Whatever these things are, write them all down. And if you do not already do them, but want to, then write those down as well. It is your routine, make it what you want it.
Determine the time you need
Once you write down all the tasks, determine how long each task takes. For example, brushing teeth should only take one to two minutes, but we all know that with kids, this could take upwards of five minutes. Write down next to each item on your list the amount of time you guesstimate it takes with the anticipation of goofing off.
Now add up all of those times and see where you stand. Your bedtime routine should reflect that amount of time prior to when you want you children to actually be asleep while accounting for extra time for these activities, transitions, and time to dose off.
In our home, we begin at 7:30 and we are usually done by 8:30. Our routine takes about an hour. If you only have one child, it could only take 20 minutes. Each family is different and will have a different bedtime routine.
Don’t forget to grab your free printable!
So tell me, what is your favorite part of bed time? Leave a comment below!