Because I had my children so closely together, I needed to find a way to create an efficient and effective bedtime routine that would get everyone to sleep at the same time and have them feeling relaxed, comforted and happy to go to bed. A feat that could easily take hours with three small children, I manage to get in done in half an hour. Most nights they are all in bed and asleep by 8:00pm, with very little exception! Can you believe that?
Although quite a flexible person who enjoys going with the flow, I am also very disciplined in routine and structure from my years of dancing, studying martial arts and even meditation. So once I am became a mother, I gladly welcomed the idea of a routine for my babies as soon as they passed the 2 months old mark. Thank you Gina Ford!
I find my children are happy to go to bed because I managed to make it an enjoyable time in which we can bond together quietly while reading stories together, singing lullabies, and even doing some short meditations together . I generally stick to the same timing every day as the brain and body come to recognize that is the time to go to bed and automatically they begin the winding down process.
I also avoid giving them any kind of sugary foods after dinner time (6pm onwards) if I want them to sleep on time. Otherwise….let’s not go there
Here’s a general outline of what I do for the children’s bedtime routine every evening. I follow the same structure always as children feel their most comfortable when they know what to expect:
Bath time is usually around 7pm. This is an important step because it cleans the body but also energetically cleanses them from the long day.
Once they are all dressed in their PJs, I get them to choose a book from our library (we love books so we have lots of them! Even a selection from when I was a little girl). They absolutely love story time. They learn new words, engage in the story and this feeds their already magnificent imaginations. I believe reading is one of the best gifts you can give to you children.
Then I get them to all go to their beds and turn of the lights so that we can sing some lullabies. By this time they are already relaxed so that they only need a few minutes of singing to get them to asleep. A mother’s voice is always soothing to her babies no matter how it may sound to you.
- Relaxation Techniques
I also use essential oils that calm the body and mind, such as Lavender or special blends made for children. This is completely natural and once placed on the skin it requires only 7 seconds to enter the blood stream! I find on the nights I use the oils on their feet and pillows, they fall asleep faster and more soundly. I use this for myself as well. It’s a blessing for those restless nights.
Generally my children easily sleep through the night except for when they have a cough or cold…or teething, which I’m dealing with now with my little one! They wake up the next morning refreshed, happy and ready for a full day of exciting adventures.
Early to bed, early to wise..makes all the children healthy, wealthy and wise!