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If you are a parent, you most likely know the benefits of a bedtime routine to help your children go to bed easily. Or perhaps you are here looking for ideas to make a bedtime routine an easier process! At the time of writing this, we have a 6-year-old, 4-year-old, and 2-year old sharing a bedroom. A bedtime routine allows them to get more sleep and supports physical wellness. But it also allows them to establish schedules and expectations which plays a role in emotional wellness. It is a simple step to obtain the overall goal of healthy kids!
To start our bedtime routine, about 30 minutes before we want our kids to be getting ready for bed, we give them a 10 minute warning. After the 10 minutes, we give them 10 minutes to clean up all their toys and straighten the house with us. It is important for kids to learn responsibility. This is a simple way to give them a little taste! We also have an early bedtime of 7pm. Our kids do better when they get plenty of sleep and we need a break too!
Fill the Water Bottles
Each of the children have water bottles. We fill them a quarter of the way up at night so that we don’t have potty issues. We are not always good at getting the kids to be involved with this process. However, on the nights that we do, it goes much more smoothly! Otherwise there are panicked little people in beds right before turning out their lights looking for their water bottles!
Once we have cleaned up and collected water bottles, we head upstairs. I help the two little ones get dressed for bed, while the oldest child does the same for himself. Once everyone is dressed, by husband supervises and assists with teeth brushing and then everyone gets their turn on the potty (if you are a mom, you know this is the most critical part of bedtime routine!). From there, everyone heads to the kiddo bedroom.
None of my children will go to bed well without having their essential oils. While it is partially just part of their bedtime routine so they expect the oils, some of the oils also contain properties which help them sleep. Every night we roll our immune roller on their feet, followed by their sleepy-time roller on the back of their necks. If anyone is under the weather other oils may also be used. We run the diffuser for 30-60 minutes every evening in their room. It is during this time that we turn the diffuser on. We usually have a diffuser blend that promotes sleep and calm, but sometimes we change it up depending on the circumstances.
Once we have our oils, everyone gets tucked into their beds and we commence reading! We always read our devotional book; our favorite devotional for kids is “Indescribable” by Louie Giglio, in case you are curious! We often read other books as well. Some of the kids’ current favorites are “The Boy & the Ocean” by Max Lucado and “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” by Dr. Seuss.
Having a bedtime routine helps children understand expectations and easily carry them through. This is especially true if you have children who have Sensory Processing Disorder. Having a routine makes everyone’s lives far less dramatic! We also appreciate this routine as parents because it gets the kids the sleep that they need (which helps with attitudes and behavior!), but it also gives us time in the evenings to focus on each other and have downtime ourselves. I hope that this sample bedtime routine gives you some ideas on how to make your own routines better! If you have a tried and true bedtime routine “must”, be sure to drop it in the comments below!