Creating a Simple Kids Bedtime Routine
Over the years I’ve tried many different things to create the ‘perfect’ bedtime routine for the girls and I. I’ve read ‘Save Our Sleep’ and paid for many sleep routine guides such as ‘The Midwife Mumma’ - all of which are amazing.
But my kids didn’t follow these routines. I spent months and months of stressful bedtimes and nights just trying to do what all these books and people were saying I should be doing.
The one thing I feel none of these how-to guides cater for is the emotions of our little human beings.
Sometimes they are just feeling overwhelmed from new people they met on the day and want extra cuddles. Other times and many times our little humans are going through development stages. This can be overwhelming and they need comforting. I mean if you just look at us as adults. We go through so many different emotions and react to different situations everyday and we have a life time behind us to help understand and process it. Not our little humans.
Imagine one day all you know the world is individual photos, each scene in life is like a bunch of different pictures and the very next day they become a sequence, more like a movie. There are huge things and we need to be flexible and comforting and support our kids through each stage. They have us in life to have their back and support the rollercoaster.
The other thing that sits on my heart, and I often think about is how most other species hold their babies close while they sleep, but our society generally suggests we put them in another room and go to our bed to sleep.
Let me firstly just say, that I believe ALL ways are fine - because you have to do what works for you. But I am sharing this post, as this is my story and what works for me and my family. If you’re struggling with creating a bedtime routine that works for you and your kids, then my hope is that this helps give you ideas you might like to try and see how they work for you; take them, try them and tweak them to be your own. Personally, the stress of creating a bedtime routine left when I really started to listen to what my kids needed and what we needed as a family. I was also exploring Human Body Design at the time, and what I learned through this really helped me understand my kids energy and had a huge impact on our bedtime rituals.
From a Human Body Design perspective, Miss 4 is a ‘Generator’ which means if she isn’t ready for bed, she just isn’t ready. GOOD LUCK trying to get her into bed before she’s ready for it. She needs to unwind to be able to sleep.
Miss 2 is a ‘Projector’ and therefore doesn’t have an energy force that keeps on going. She needs rest, usually early, which she ask for now that she is so vocal.
Understanding both our girls needs when it came to rest and sleep allowed us to find a bed-time that would suit both girls and a routine that would be fit for what they both needed.
If I could just share one tip with you, it would be this:
Work out what is right for your family and you may need to let go a little on what YOU want it to look like and know you are a family and have to give and take a little too.
Our Families Bedtime Routine
These days, the girls are in bed, ready to sleep from 7.30 -8.30 and we are happy with that. Our simple bedtime routine also involves essential oils. We have found that they love this part of their routine and have trust in it playing a big role.
We’ve found that the bath or shower can sometimes stimulate Miss 4, but Miss 2 will be more relaxed and ready for sleep. So sometimes we do baths/showers during that day. We pop the essential oil diffuser on, with a blend that helps to unwind and relax. This goes on just after dinner, allowing time for the mist to fill the room.
Essential Oils for Bedtime
I like to mix this up and see what we feel like on the day.
A few good choices are
Easy Air and Lavender
On Guard and Lavender Peace
Copaiba, Ylang Ylang and Frankincense
Easy Air, Tea Tree and On Guard
Patchouli, Lavender and Ylang Ylang
But there are so many more you can play with. Next step - Brush teeth - We use doTERRA toothpaste (of course) and we also have a natural kids one so they can have a choice. Toilet - Miss 2 is toilet trained day and night so we make sure she goes before bed. ( I will be doing a blog on this soon, keep an eye out)
Now, here is a controversial one - no judging allowed... Our kids sleep in our bed - and it’s perfect!!! We jump in bed and have down time. I find that a giggle before bed always works wonders. So some family fun time, stories, tickles or whatever flows.
We speak about something that made us happy for the day. How much we love each other
And a quick kiss and cuddles …
And here is the funny part. We knock in the wall and say that the neighbour is coming quick to go to sleep.
So in a nutshell, here are my top-tips for creating a bedtime routine that works for you and your family:
As much as you can, stick to the same or similar routine
But in complete contrast...be ok with being a little flexible - life happens and getting frustrated only makes everyone waaaaaay less relaxed and ready for bed!
Create a sound that is relaxing - you could even try a white noise app, or ocean sounds
Get to really know your kids and what their patterns of energy are
Make the bedtime routine fun and individualised
Try to not be stressed -, they will feed on this.
You'll start to watch your children thrive, with even just 30 min a day of you giving your child dedicated love and attention time! Try it, you'll love the difference it makes.