Bedtime Routine for Three Kids Under Five

Bedtime Routine for Three Kids Under Five

I’m known as the “morning mom.” When people ask me questions related to routines, habits, and recipes for success, they always ask about what happens in the morning.
But a successful morning starts the night before and the evening routine is an equally important ingredient to consider.
Today I will talk about the evening routine for the kids, and in next week’s article, we will dwell into my evening routine.

Before I start with the details, I need to disclose that sleep is my number 1 priority, both for myself and my family. That’s the top of my list, and I will do anything in my power to make sure that my kids and I get adequate rest.

Our bedtime routine starts at 3 PM. This is the last occasion for the kids to have anything that contains sugar, including fruit. This is the time when my older daughter is back from school, and the twins are already awake from their nap.
So we have some fruit paired with some healthy fat – whatever fruit I have in the house, usually together with almond butter, coconut or nuts.
After the snack, we go outside for some vigorous play. We take our bikes, go for a swim, go to the park or if it’s raining, we go jump in muddy puddles. The kids are always doing something physical in the afternoon regardless of the weather.
We return home by 5 PM. Dinner takes me 15 minutes because I have pre-prepared ingredients (I wash and cut all veggies once a week) and I throw them together, or I have a casserole dish that I put in the oven just before we leave the house.
We eat dinner and then go for a bath. My kids love playing in the water and so every night they get to spend at least 30 minutes doing that.
By 6:30 they are out of the bath and into their PJs.
We brush our teeth and read a bedtime story. When they were smaller, my husband and I would split, and one would read for our older kid, and the other would read for the babies. As their attention span increases, we are now more and more reading the same books for all three.
When the book has been read, they get tucked in, and we put the lights off. We sit together in the dark and talk about our favorite thing that happened that day. Every one of us contributes with their highlights.
When we are done, we sing a song together.
Then they each get a tight cuddle, many kisses and a whisper of love in their ears and they go to sleep.

All three share a room, and they are still giggling for a couple of more minutes after we leave, but generally speaking, they will be asleep by 7:30 PM.

This routine, however, is not something we achieved overnight. We tried, tweaked, adjusted, struggled, readjusted and reconsidered every single time something wasn’t working.

Also, kids might be going through their challenges – fears, physical or psychological development, troubles at school or simply the times when they want to command change. If we expect these, we are much less likely to be resistant when they happen. Instead, we reconsider our new reality and welcome the natural shifts that follow.
There is no perfect way to put the kids to bed, but whatever you do, it must feel smooth and easy.

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