Sleep Routines Work…Who Knew?

Although I am a highly organized person, okay maybe a little OCD, I was anything but when it came to my kids’ bedtimes. I would kinda try to read them and see when they seemed like they needed to go to sleep or when I needed them to. I honestly never had a regular nightly bedtime. When I tried it a few times, it was an epic fail that ended in tears and frustration for everyone involved.

When your days’ activities consist of coloring and puzzles, I felt like there really wasn’t a need to have my kids on a strict schedule. On days when there weren’t any time sensitive activities, I would let them get up when they wanted. We would do our errands, and then the rest of the day was left for playing, reading, and whatever else.

Well, fast forward a couple of years to a regular school schedule and this momma has a bedtime routine that actually works…for the most part (we still have our nighttime wanderers). No more tears, no more frustration. Some nights my kids actually ask me to go to bed without any prodding. It truly is one of the best things to have ever happened in my house.

I honestly am surprised that my kids are asleep by 8:30 (the latest) each night. I know for some out there, that is still late, but in my house it is an amazing feat.

So, this is what we do….

7:00 Bath or shower

7:30 Shortened versions of two shows (Thank you God for on demand! Both kids pick one show and I fast forward through half so they both get to watch “their” shows). Some nights we never make it to the second show because they are so tired. Sweet!

8:00 In bed with two books…once again, one for each child. We snuggle and read.

8:15 Prayers and lights out

I usually linger until I know both kids are asleep. Then my little one gets brought into bed and mommy is free at last! It’s a win-win for everyone…my kids are more rested and I am more relaxed because I’m not fighting World War 3 to put them to bed.

Now, I heart sleep routines more than coffee! I know it’s a big “duh” for many of you who have had a sleep routine since your little one left the womb. But, for someone who is new to the gig, it is so refreshing! I feel that at 8:30, I still have a couple of hours until I have to call it a night. Even on weekends when I am a little more relaxed with the bedtime thing, I find my kids are so tired they follow the routine on their own, give or take a half-hour. I can’t believe it took me five years to finally get it right. Better late than never, right?

What kind of bedtime routine do you have? What time do your kids go to bed?