March 29, 2013 by Carin
We all have our bedtime routines that help us prepare ourselves for the act of going to sleep. I like to wash my face, take my contacts out, brush my teeth and read a few chapters of my current book. Then lights out and off to dream land I go. Our kids have routines as well and it has been especially fun to watch how they have evolved, especially with Myles. Myles will be 2 years old at the end of May. He is talking a little, mostly just words, but he has a way of getting his point across.
His bedtime routine is as follows:
We start with a diaper change and pajamas. During that time “BaBa” (beloved pacifer…grrr) is found and given to him, which makes him giggle with excitement! He picks out a two books (usually the same two favorites of the week). And I should add that if I am home, I am the only one who can put Myles to bed. He will scream and cry his head off if he can’t having Mommy doing the bedtime routine. Which can be endearing, but once in a while I would love to read books to Grace, but anyway. We sit on the floor, Myles in my lap with his monkey blanket on his lap, his water bottle in one hand and his Teddy in another and usually a Little People person, a Matchbox car or his keys as well. We read his choice of two books and then into bed. No hugs, no kisses! He then declares he needs to pick out 1 book by holding up his pointer finger and declaring book. This process can take a while, he needs to look through all four book bins to find a book that strikes his fancy that night. The book is handed over to be placed in his crib, as well as whatever he is currently coveting like the keys, Matchbox or Little people. He then crawls into the crib by himself in what looks like a neck breaking maneuver, settles in on his back. Sometimes a drink of water is necessary before the final preparations are taken. Then I put Teddy down near his head, hand him his book and current coveted item and put his blanket on him, which by they way usually turns into his pillow with in minutes. Then as I am walking out the door I say “Night, Night” and we “argue” over the brightness of the overhead light. He wants it bright enough to “read” his book and I want it low enough that he will fall asleep. He grunts at me until the light is just perfect and then I am welcome to walk out the door. This routine has been going on now for about a month with no signs of changing. It makes me laugh really because he is so set in his ways already.
I know his bedtime routine will probably change here sometime soon, but right now it can be really cute, though sometimes frustrating. I know I am not the only one who has a child of a toddler that seems so set in their bedtime routine. But some nights, though cute, can be really exhausting process to find that just right book, have the bottle full, the correct coveted item near and so on. Comfort comes from routine and if he finds comfort in his current routine that he will play and then put himself to sleep, than great! I am all for it, but I only hope that the number of items needed to fall asleep gets less complicated and easier to communicate to the unsuspecting babysitter or my husband (on the off chance I am not home one night).
What are you kids bedtime routines like? Are they elaborate or do your kids not care how they are put to bed.