It’s the most wonderful time of your night. The time when the kids are peacefully sleeping and you’ve got a glass of wine in hand, comfy jammies on, and your Netflix queue ready to roll. It’s the light at the end of the tunnel to any parent’s busy day.
But I’ve heard complaints that the bed time routine can be challenging. But don’t worry. My experience with my two children has positioned me to be a bit of a bed time expert. We’ve got our routine down to a science.
So from one parent to another, I want to pass on all I’ve learned so you can create an efficient routine with your kids that they will love. Here are my 40 easy steps to put your child to bed.
1. Announce that bed time will commence in 1 minute.
2. Listen to the whining and complaints from your child.
3. Barter with them for an extra five minutes of play time just to shut the whining down.
4. Get distracted on Facebook and let 20 minutes go by.
5. Announce that it is officially time for bed.
6. Repeat step 2.
7. Get your serious mom voice out and demand your child put pjs on.
8. Watch child struggle endlessly getting feet and arms in the right holes.
9. Give up and let them sleep in backwards jammies.
10. Watch child brush their teeth.
11. Re-brush child’s teeth.
12. Ask child to use the bathroom one last time.
13. Remind any child with a penis to hit the toilet.
14. Ask any child with a penis why they did not hit the toilet.
15. Have child wash hands.
16. Debate the perfect hand washing water temperature.
17. Have child pick out a book to read.
18. Pick up 40 books that got pulled out while trying to find ‘the one’.
19. Read book.
20. Re-read pages your child caught you skipping
21. Negotiate one more book because they said pppppllllllleeeeeaaaassssseeeee!
22. Have child push every button on every fan, night light, clock, white noise machine, humidifier, etc.
23. Tuck child in bed.
24. Engage in rousing game of patty cake.
25. Bring child glass of water.
26. Get child fresh glass of COLD water because the water from last night’s glass is not good enough.
27. Get child back in bed.
28. Realize Teddy is missing.
29. Celebrate finding Teddy by playing a made up game of tossing Teddy in the air where the game can only end if Teddy lands upside down on the back of the headboard.
30. Console crying kid after 10 minutes of Teddy never landing upside down as the rules dictated.
31. Tuck child in bed.
32. give last hugs and kisses.
33. Make a mad dash to the kitchen to open bottle of wine.
34. Deny request for more water.
35. Accept request to poop.
36. 20 minutes and no poop later, get kid back to bed.
37. Give last hugs and kisses.
38. Accidentally fall asleep in kid’s bed.
39. Wake up 2 hours later to a toddler elbow in the face.
40. Stumble to your own bed.
See? And just like that your kid is asleep! And you get the added bonus of having your wine breathe a bit while you catch some zzz’s.
I’m not really sure why it seems to be so difficult for some parents to get their kids to sleep. It’s all about being firm with the 40-step process. There’s no room to deviate. Give a kid an inch and they’ll take a mile.
My children are promptly in bed ten hours from when I declare it’s time for bed. So it can be done! Don’t give up parents. It’s your duty to establish a healthy bed time routine. Now’s the time!
Has anyone else found success with a similar program? (ponders webinar series)