All of these things are required for a smooth night-time routine for your kids, especially with having multiples. In our new home, my littles share a room, so this also requires a different thought process since they have different bedtimes.
I’d like to share with you a tentative night-time routine that we *loosely* follow with our two little ones and some tips.
Every night might look different. This kind of makes me laugh because I just said routine and then followed it by saying it’ll be different every night LOL. What I mean is that you need a plan but be okay with things going off the plan. Your kids will strive off of rhythms but their whole schedule won’t be thrown off if they have a night where you’re out and they go to bed an hour later. Some nights they’ll be extra tired and fall asleep early and other nights, they might need extra snuggles. And that’s okay!!
4pm Evening Prep. Sometimes with kids, things take prep. I love being able to prep things ahead of time because if I have a free moment to do something that can save me time later on, I’m all about it. Around this time I typically start dinner (or earlier depending) and at some point, I lay out the kid’s clothes for the following day on the top of the shelves in the playroom. This is especially important because in the layout of our new house, the kids’ room and master bedroom are upstairs and then the bathrooms and playroom are on the main level. The stairs are very steep so I like to reduce the amount of times I need to go up and down in a day, so bringing their clothes for the next day down the night before, I save a trip upstairs in the morning.
5pm Dinner. We prioritize dinner as a family around the table each night. This is an important time of talking about our days and connecting with our children.
5:25pm Clean Up/Play Time. After dinner is completed, my husband and I will clear the table and then he goes into the playroom with the kids while I clean up. This system works for us. I’m a stay at home mom and so I love having the quiet of the kitchen to clean up and my husband enjoys one-on-one time with the kids that he didn’t get all day since he was at work. It’s a win win. I love having a night-time essential oil going in the playroom at this time to help calm the kids down as bed time approaches.
6:15pm Family Time. This time looks different every night, but around this time, we’ll all hangout in the playroom together, maybe go upstairs and watch a show/movie together in our room, etc. In the summer, we would go outside and do a family walk but Wisconsin is frigid so staying inside is necessary at night. Around this time, we will get the kids in their pajamas and my daughter will get her final feeding of the night. I also turn off all main lights in the house and use only lamps or candles to help get us in the mood for sleep & it’s so cozy!
7pm To Sleep. Sometime between 7-8pm, my 7 month old will go to sleep. Before I put her down, I make sure my son has all he needs out of the room so we don’t have to go searching for sleep sack or binkies in the dark when we put him down a bit later. Then, we get to focus on hanging with our son. This time looks different every night but usually results in him playing and starting his routine of brushing teeth, reading books, and eventually picking up the playroom.
8pm To Sleep. Around 8pm (that’s the goal), my son will go to bed. We’ve found that especially since his sister was born, he thrives off cuddles with my husband and I. Usually this looks like having some dessert in bed, cuddling him, and watching a show before he goes down. It’s very good quality time with him since his baby sister requires a lot of attention throughout the day.
8:30pm Wind Down Time. Once both kids are asleep, my husband and I will finish any home clean up and get in bed to read. Thursday evenings, we go back downstairs after they’re asleep and we do a “Family Meeting” to talk about the upcoming week before our Family Sabbath starts Friday morning. This meeting just the two of us is crucial to prepping and feeling ready for the week.
9:30pm Lights Out. This is the goal. It doesn’t always happen but we both prefer to get up earlier and have some quiet time before the kids wake up, so we need to get to bed at a decent hour.
What things are essential in your night time routine?
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