Bedtime. I feel pretty lucky that my kids are good sleepers. But sometimes just getting them in to bed is the challenge. My day doesn't end until the kids are settled and off to snooze land. Here are some tips that will hopefully help get all those kiddos in bed a little easier and get us to that glass of wine faster. I mean, that reality TV isn't going to watch itself…
This post is in partnership with Netflix. I'm part of their #StreamTeam which means I get to watch a lot of great shows and tell you about them. I love my job.•Set up a routine Both of my boys know that 8 pm is when the day is done and they need to be headed to bed. We prepare the same way every night so they know when we tell them to go brush their teeth and take their allergy medicine, they know what's up. This is also where things can easily go haywire. The boys love to laugh and often get silly at this time. I hate to make them stop having fun, but they totally amp each other up and if we don't stop it quick, it takes another 10 minutes to get in to the beds. It's important to really try to stick to this even if dad gets home late. The bed time may change a little on those nights or on the weekend, but the routine is the same.
•Transition The boys know that when we put on pajamas, that is the start of our bedtime routine. But they might still be fairly active, playing or running around the house until it's teeth brushing time. Both of my kids have to read as part of their homework. We save it to do right at bedtime as a way to help transition from our busy day. For my older son, he reads for 1/2 an hour and then I turn out his light. My younger son is just learning to read and so I sit with him as he reads his books for about 15 minutes followed by lights out. This is an easy way to move in to quiet time and get them settled down for lights out.
•Be proactive Make sure that they have all the things they think they need to sleep with. And for my youngest it is all. the. things. He's all about blankets (like 7 of them) and this stuffed lion (plus a rotating cast of other stuffed animals). I make this part of my responsibility for the night time routine. While they are brushing their teeth, I am finding all the items that they think they need. For a while, my older son was getting out of bed several minutes after lights out, saying he couldn't sleep. He wanted me to rub my essential oil blend on his feet to help him sleep. After consistantly doing this for a few nights, I made him his own rollerball so he could use it, himself, without getting out of bed. I gave him a way to help himself and it let me start my own night time routine. If a kid is sniffly, I put the tissue box where he can reach it. If it's cold, I set out socks for them to put on instead of asking me for them 20 minutes in to my favorite show. Is that selfish. Maybe a little. But guess what? A mom is allowed to clock out too. Because you know even if we are off the clock, we're still halfway working, listening for the coughs, the bad dreams, the bumps in the night. •Give in. On your terms There are always going to be those nights when no matter how much preparation you do, the kids are going to need a little extra something. Netflix is GENIUS and came up with these awesome 5 minute Favorites from Dinotrux. This is perfect because the kids think they are getting a little more time, but you are still totally in control. They can watch a complete episode (which at only 5 minutes is totally doable) and then get back on track. Could Netflix, be any more awesome for parents?
What are your bedtime tips? How do you get your kids prepped and ready for lights out?
How do your kids try to get #5MoreMinutes?