Is your Bedtime Routine Failing? I’m sharing 6 tips to help you achieve bedtime success!
When you were younger, you often rebelled at bedtime.
Your last-minute attempts to stall probably included asking for drinks, sudden urges to pee, and a vivid memory of something that you forgot to do but that must be done right now.
As an adult, you watch your own children making these same moves through a haze of exhaustion.
Is Your Bedtime Routine Failing? 6 Tips for Bedtime Success
We used to fight going to bed, and now we just desperately want our children to go to sleep so that we can get some rest.
But if your bedtime routine isn’t failing, then you may need some help.
Here are six tips for bedtime success.
Start the bedtime dance early
Yes, I do mean right after dinner.
The only thing that saves my sanity is having dinner on the table as close to 6:30 as I can manage. Then I start the bedtime routine by 7:30.
Even if the kids weren’t going to be in bed for a while, we would start picking up toys, having baths, and picking bedtime stories as early as possible.
This way, we can knock out most of the stalling tactics before I am too tired to function.
Plan for the inevitable
Your kids aren’t going to magically stop stalling, no matter how many books you read.
They are going to ask for a drink of water and suddenly remember that they need to put their shoes away.
Create a visual schedule with boxes that give kiddo the chance to check off the bedtime chores.
Include known stall tactics, like getting a drink of water. This way when they ask for a drink after they are already in bed, you can remind them that they’ve already had a drink.
Split the bedtime duties
Bedtime can be a great chance for bonding. But it’s also a long, sometimes drawn way out, part of the evening that can leave you feeling tired and overwhelmed.
If you split the bedtime duties with your partner, you won’t get quite so frustrated if it takes longer, because there won’t be quite so much to do.
Tire them out
It may sound cliché, but the more activities you can squeeze in before dinner, the quicker the kids will go to sleep.
Stop by a playground on the way home from school, or head to the mall for a few laps if the weather is too cold.
Yes, you’re busy. You need to get home and cook dinner. But if you try adding some kind of extra activity to the afternoon, your children are much more likely to fall asleep more quickly.
Give in when you can
On weekend nights, plan for a movie night where everyone hangs out on the couch in jammies.
The kids will feel like they have a bit more control and having the occasional late-night treat will let them feel like they are getting away with something.
Some children stall at night because they want more time with you.
Let the dishes wait until morning or plan a dinner that will leave you plenty of time for evening cuddles.
Use bribery if you have to
I’m normally not a fan of bribery. But I’m also not a fan of being a zombie the next morning because your kids would not fall asleep.
Put together a calendar and give stickers for each night that they are asleep by a time you determine.
When they have earned so many stickers, then they can get a more substantial prize.
If you’re on a budget, the more substantial prize can be something inexpensive. Something like a trip to the park without siblings or a bike ride with just mom or dad.
Your kids will either stop fighting bedtime or get old enough that they no longer need your constant supervision.
It may seem like it’s going to take forever, I promise that this period in your life will be short.
It’s still going to be extremely frustrating, but it will not last forever!
These tips might help you save some of your sanity and get more sleep sooner, rather than later.
Co-sleeping issues? Click here to see how to help your baby sleep alone.
Is your child having Night Terrors? Click here to see how to help your child through them.