Bedtime is chaotic in this household
It’s a constant battle to get the children to sleep.
You just about think your winning. They’re in their beds all tucked up and looking like little angels and just as you take a foot over the threshold of the bedroom door, thinking of how you are going to spend the last couple of quiet hours of your evening, when you hear…
“I need a wee”
“I’m not tired”
“Just one more story”
“I’ve got a belly ache”
Anything to stay awake for those extra few minutes of the evening
The longer they stay awake the more tired and irritable I become. I was so close to the finish line of relaxation.
For a moment there I could see it, but yet I was so far away.
Our bedtime routine can sometimes be a fast one, with no arguments but most of the time it can take up to over an hour to get the little rascals into bed. So I set myself a goal of reducing it to half an hour by setting up a routine.
We have always had a bedtime routine but it seemed to have lapsed the older they got. Before we moved home, the boys all shared a room. They now have a room to them selves which makes it easier to stagger their bedtime. It is always hard to keep to a routine when the children get older as they attend after school clubs that normally finish near to their bedtime.
Our newest routine consists of
- Wind down time, removing any electrical equipment from them about an hour before bedtime. I sometimes have to hide them in my bedroom away from their sneaking hands
- An hour before bed they can have a small glass of water. Any more than that and they will be up in the night going to the toilet
- Half hour before bedtime they are told to have a shower/wash and to brush their teeth, I give constant count down reminders about what they are doing next.
- They get there clothes ready for the next day, placed neatly into a pile near to their bed
- They can choose a book to read to themselves for 10 minutes
- Once in bed I then sit down and read a book to them. This is a book that both boys have chosen. We are currently reading Harry Potter together. I normally read them a chapter a night. The two younger boys have a connecting room, so this is easy to do whilst both boys are in bed
- I always end the day with a cuddle and a kiss and give them a praise about their day. Falling asleep on a positive note relaxes them and encourages a good nights sleep
- Tuck them up in bed and turn off the lights
I try to keep the landing light off too, as this seems to keep them awake. Also talking a calm voice and not rushing them along helps them to the routine running smoothly.
I must admit this doesn’t always go to plan and I still get the odd shout from the boys bedroom about them not being tired enough for sleep. We’re not all perfect after all!