Since writing about our morning routine a few months back, I’ve been meaning to post about our nighttime shenanigans. We’ve been working to make bedtime more peaceful and less stressful. Our bedtime routine is not perfect and I am by no means an expert, but it works for us. Oftentimes our routine gets adjusted due to company visiting or when the little ones are sick, but we have found some things that assist in making bed time smooth! Ellie and Addie are totally different when it comes to sleeping, but we’ve found that these helpful hints (and things like this!) that help the process…and don’t make us want to pull our hair out when bed time comes around! ;)
FOR TODDLER / PRESCHOOLER:
Ellie’s never been a big fan of bedtime, but we have found several things that help in the toddler department! Making sure she is good and worn out is one of them. ;) Preschool days tend to make her more tired, but if she’s snuck in a nap on the car ride home or seems to be extra awake, we like to take her to our neighborhood park and let her run around for an extra 20 minutes. She’ll zip on her scooter or climb the playground and that little extra playtime is exactly what she needs to settle down for the night. And multitasking during bedtime? Doesn’t work! We try to put our phones down, save that “one quick email” for after she’s in bed, so she can have our full attention. Having a nighttime chart has also been extremely beneficial. She knows exactly what she needs to do and has the ability to choose which option to do next.
Bath time is one of our very favorite ways to begin our bedtime routine. While ideally I’d love to have it happen every night, it happens about every other night or so. It helps both Addie and Ellie (who loves to get in the bath with her sister) begin to wind down and relax. We always make sure they both go to bed in soft pajamas and, for Addie, a fresh, clean diaper. Both Addie and Ellie have been prone to diaper rash, especially when they started sleeping longer stretches at night. We always make sure we have some of this cream on hand. The first time Ellie had a diaper rash, I had no idea what it was or what to do. Hashtag first time parent, ha! Now, I always keep some Desitin Diaper Rash Cream near our diapers and apply it at the first sign of redness or irritation. It begins working immediately, I swear by it!
^^ That pouty face! She loves to dress herself ;) ^^
Keep a consistent routine. We’re not perfect in this department and try to be flexible when things come up, but having a consistent bedtime routine is key! We start before actual “bed time,” usually right after dinner. Brian and I take turns, one of us takes the kiddos and the other one cleans up dinner. The little ones go with us upstairs to make sure all the toys are cleaned up, bath time and pajamas, and set out clothes for the next day. The lights start to go off one by one, and if it’s still light outside, the blackout curtains get closed. (Those curtains saved us this summer!) This wind down period helps a ton! Since having Addie, we usually split up their bedtime, typically Ellie goes down first. We brush teeth, either read a few books or sing a few songs, say our prayers, and one of us lies next to her in bed. She’ll usually drift off pretty soon (though we have been known to fall asleep in there with her when it takes awhile!) I really love this time of night, because she tells me funny stories about preschool and always cuddles or holds my hand. Addie gets swaddled up and has one last feeding before she goes to sleep. And then Brian and I sing HALLELUJAH! Sweet, blessed bedtime! ;)
Have any good nighttime tips or tricks? I’d love to hear what works well for your family at bedtime in the comments below!
P.S. Next time you’re at Target (and if you go as often as I do, you’ll be there this afternoon!), pull up this Target Cartwheel coupon to save 25% on Desitin Diaper Rash Cream!