Do you ever struggle getting your kids to bed at a decent hour? Creating a routine can help take bedtime from struggle to seamless with these few easy tips:
- Pick a specific time. Allow 20-30 minutes before bedtime to complete the routine from beginning to end.
- Provide a warning. Verbally communicate with your child that he/she has “5 more minutes before we start to get ready for bed.” Doing this comforts children and gives them a sense of security because they know what to expect.
- Decide on a sequence of events. Consistency is key, once you develop a sequence of events, repeat them in the same order every night.
For example, if your child’s bedtime is 8pm, then at 7:25pm let him/her know, “In 5 minutes it will be time to get ready for bed.” Once its 7:30pm, your child would do the following:
- Put on Pajamas
- Brush Teeth
- Drink of Water
- Go Potty
- Read 2 Stories
- Say Goodnight/Lights Out
For younger children it may be helpful to provide some visual cues or pictures for each step. Here is an example made by Jen from I Heart Organizing:
You can find more examples by searching “Bedtime Routine Chart” on Pinterest. Creating a routine, and following it consistently, will help children know what to expect- making bedtime become a calm and relaxing way to end the day!