I hope you and your families are well. Half of our little family is asleep right now after a busy day of running. We missed church because of my husband and our youngest being ill, but they both seemed to be feeling somewhat better by bedtime, which is a good sign.
Speaking of bedtime I thought today we could talk about bed time routines we have in our home and why they are important to us.
For us bedtime routines are crucial to having a decent week with our two kids. Our nine year old, A, is ADHD and thrives best on a good nights rest, and with routine so routine is especially important for him to be able to get a good nights rest. This helps him stay a bit more calm and attentive to his schoolwork and other daily tasks.
Our one year old, M, just will not sleep through the night unless we keep him on a schedule for bed time and naps. He also gets rather grumpy throughout the day without a good amount of rest.
The start to our bedtime routine begins around 7pm, sometimes a little earlier or later but for the most part we try to stick to as close to 7pm as we can. We have our oldest go and put his pajamas on and bring down his dirty clothes to put in the dirty hamper near the washing machine. This makes it easier to start a load of clothes when the kids are asleep because I don’t have to sneak into their room to get their dirty clothes.
Our youngest is normally already in his pajamas at this point. Normally unless we leave the house he changes into them right after supper because he is one and the food doesn’t all make it into his mouth.
After our oldest takes his dirty day clothes down to the washing machine he goes to the bathroom and flosses his teeth. This normally takes him about 3 minutes all together. After he finishes flossing, he brushes his teeth for also about 3 minutes. Being ADHD he gets a bit distracted with his daily tasks so the extra time is to account for him being distracted by something and him not brushing his teeth. Once he is finished brushing he spits, rinses his mouth with water then rinses with ACT Kids mouth wash. He prefers the Batman Fruit Punch flavour. He uses his mouthwash for about a minute. After he finishes with his mouthwash he washes his hands and face and comes into the living room. We definitely stress dental hygiene with our boys.
After our oldest does his dental routine I floss, and brush our youngest’s teeth. Before he had teeth that touched we only brushed those teeth, and before he had any teeth at all we brushed his gums.
Next we sit down on the couch in the living room and I read a book to the boys. Right now we are reading through the Harry Potter Books. We are on Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince. We normally have the time to read one chapter a night sometimes more depending on the book and the size of the chapter. This helps both the boys begin to relax and start getting ready to get tired.
Once we finish the book it is normally about 8pm we hug and kiss goodnight and our oldest gets tucked in bed with his heavy blankets, his Green Bear, his Kitty Bear, and Little dog. He also wears earmuffs to bed. He likes them because of the pressure on his head and that it blocks out some of the noise from the house.
Before we put our youngest in bed I change him into an overnight diaper. We cloth diaper and this is just a diaper that is wider than his others and has more inserts in it so it is more absorbent.
Our youngest has bad reflux so we tuck him in his rocker chair and I slowly rock him a bit and sing to him until he falls asleep. Then when my husband and I go up to bed we take him up and put him in his pack and play near our bed. His bed has a crib wedge in it so that he is still propped up.
So in short our bedtime routine looks like this:
- 7:00pm Pajamas
- 7:05pm Teeth
- 7:15pm Story time
- 8:00pm Bedtime
The reasons we think bedtime routines are important:
- Better sleeping habits
- A sense of structure and security for the children
- Help prevent as many toddler tantrums
- Help reduce inattentiveness in our ADHD child
- And of course sanity for us… heheh
We try and stick to this every night. If it is thrown off just a small amount it isn’t bad but when it gets thrown off a lot or often it throws off everything else during the day.
What kind of bedtime routine do you have with your family? Do they help your kids throughout the day. Let us know in the comments.
The Momnipresent Mother