Bedtime was a challenge for us when our family first grew from one to four children. There was too much wildness, too many tears, and a too tired Mama who desperately wanted a moment to sit alone and rest. I wrote this blog post, Connecting at Bedtime, about the nighttime struggle.
Here’s how I get 4 kids (5 to 3 years old) to bed early. There are about 4 nights a week, I handle bedtime all by myself because of my husband’s work schedule, so I thought it would be useful to share for those parents who manage bedtime alone.
Times can vary by about 15 minutes either way.
- 4:30 – Kids come in from outside play and watch one kids’ show on Netflix while I prepare dinner.
- 5:00 – Sit down to dinner.
- 5:30 – Clear the kitchen counters and put away food while kids’ finish eating. Read one story to children.
- 5:45 – Everyone goes upstairs and plays in their bedrooms.
- 5:45 – Give one of the older two children a shower. The older two change into pajamas. The younger two get a bath after lunch.
- 6:00 – Help older two children with their homework or learning activities.
- 6:30 – Everyone comes back to kitchen for nighttime snack of yogurt or a glass of milk. I give vitamins. We either read a story or sing a song together.
- 6:45 – Everyone goes back upstairs. I help each child brush teeth, wash face & hands, and use the toilet. I help the younger two change into pajamas.
- 7:00 – While each child waits for me to tuck them into bed, they clean up their toys. Then they go in their beds and read.
- 7:30 – By this time, I have read a book, cuddled, and tucked each child into bed.
- 7:30 – I clean kitchen, put in a load of laundry, and then rest.
More Ideas About Establishing Positive Routines with Your Kids
Thank you to the blogger of Keep Austin Nursing in Public for encouraging me to share our bedtime routine as a blog post. She was curious how bloggers managed to have time to write posts, and I shared that I have time once my kids are in bed.