Bedtime. The word that means victory to moms across the globe. We rocked it through another day of motherhood. High five, momma!
I’ve noticed a lot of the moms in our private Facebook group have been giving each other quite a bit of advice and encouragement over the past few weeks in relation to sleeping and bedtime. We’ve talked about everything sleep related, including early morning wake ups, not sleeping through the night, and how to determine the best sleep schedule for your family. There is so much research supporting the importance of a bedtime routine for kids. A structured routine can help your babies and toddlers fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer. This makes for a much more rested momma and kiddo, which is a total win in my book!
I originally published this post shortly after Isla was born and thought it was time to revisit it and update you on our current bedtime routine. Nailing down a sleep schedule with a baby and toddler can be challenging, but we have really found a groove that works for us. Learning how to juggle bathing two little ones. How to get two kids dressed and ready for bed without a breakdown (from us or them). How to keep those special bedtime rituals Brody is accustomed to. We have finally found our bedtime routine and it feels so good.
Hopefully you can implement some of these steps in your own routines to make bedtime a little bit easier. If you have any other tricks or tips feel free to share below or in the Momma Society Facebook group!
As 7:00 pm rolls around, we start the timer for bath time! You may or may not spot me doing a happy dance in celebration of making it through another day. Bath time is definitely a favorite part of my day. We slow down and spend time giggling and splashing around in the warm water.
If it is a bath day for both of them, they take a bath together. Brody adores helping shampoo Isla’s hair and showing her how to splash her feet. It is so sweet to watch them interact together.
After a little bath fun, we coax Brody out by letting him pick which animal towel he wants to use that night. He loves the bear towel and this frog towel is equally adorable!
Once the kids are dry, it is pajama time! Brody despises getting dressed some days. He wants us to chase him around the house just to get a pair of underwear on his little bum. We have started using the same strategy we use from bath towels and let him pick out his pajamas. When the fire truck pajamas are on rotation he is eager to put them on.
For Isla, we throw on some diaper rash cream, a diaper, and super soft fleece pajamas this time of year--Carter's pajamas for the win once again! Call me a crazy mom, but I can’t help but to smooch her and sniff her and cover her in kisses post bath. There’s nothing sweeter than a freshly bathed babe. Those little lamb feet make me smile so big.
After the kids are dressed for bed, we let Brody jump on our bed for a few minutes. Parents of the year, right? I am not sure when or how this tradition started, but he lives for his pre-bedtime jump session. I secretly love it too because it wears him out for bed. Lots of giggles ensue. Now that Isla is on the move it won’t be long before she’s joining him in this fun pre-bed activity.
It is time to wind down. By now it is usually 7:30ish and JD or I cuddle up to read a bedtime story in Brody’s bed. We tag team, so the other one of us gets Isla ready to snooze. This month, Brody has been obsessed with a farm picture book. He keeps telling us his favorite vehicle is a combine harvester. Oh, silly toddlers! I say goodnight and head downstairs. Usually ten minutes later Brody pops out of his room to tell us to remember to make him food for the morning. Or to pee. Or to get a refill on his water. Or because his toe hurts. Or because his nightlight changed colors. Or all of the above. Then he finally falls asleep.
As crazy and chaotic as the evenings can be, a few minutes after sitting on the couch sans kiddos and I already miss them. You wish for it to be bedtime all day long then as soon as bedtime arrives you’re scrolling through pictures of your little ones because you miss them so much. The paradoxes of motherhood.
A few tips from Momma Society moms:
1) Short & Sweet - By keeping your bedtime routine short and sweet, your toddlers and babies won’t become overwhelmed or overtired during the process. Consistency is key for young children, so three or four steps is all you need.
2) Early bedtime - You may think that keeping your kids up later will make them more tired, and in turn help them fall asleep faster. This actually has the opposite affect! Early bedtimes encourage more restful sleep and longer nights.
3) Let them be involved - If you choose activities that your kids can enjoy and participate in, they will actually look forward to the bedtime routine. Brody loves picking out his favorite pair of pj’s each night and which book we are going to read.
What are your bedtime secrets? Do you feel like you’ve mastered the routine or are you still swimming in chaos? Is there a specific part of the routine you are struggling with? If so, head over to our Facebook group where you can find encouragement and support from other moms going through the same thing. We are all in this together.
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