Bedtime Routines for a Special Night
Dawn Meehan, Mother and Author
I have to admit that with six kids in the house bedtime tends to be a little like a three ring circus. Still, I try to spend some time with each child before tucking them in, as I know it’s the special routines and moments at night that we’ll treasure forever.
I start the bedtime ritual well before I want my children to go to sleep. I try to give them enough time to have a snack, bathe, brush their teeth and get into pajamas. We start after dinner by trying to keep things calm. When the kids start running around the house like monkeys, I redirect them by putting on a video for them to watch, getting out a board game or reading some books. My little kids like to snuggle up with me on the couch while we read their favorite books again and again.
Then it’s off to the bath. My husband has recently taken over this duty which is wonderful, not only because it gives me a break, but it lets him have some special time to bond with the little ones. This is another chance for the kids to wind down and relax before bed. (We’ll just forget about the times their dad gets them wound up until they start splashing and acting crazy.)
Next comes “jammie” time. I remember using GoodNites® Sleep Pants with my son to help manage his bedwetting when he was younger. We always kept a pack of GoodNites® Sleep Pants in his closet so he’d remember to put them on before his jammies. They were perfect for absorbing any wetness so he woke up feeling dry and not embarrassed. And it helped eliminate any middle-of-the-night sheet changes.
Finally, each of my kids has their own “tuck-in” ritual. Clay always has to kiss me on my cheek and my right eye. I have no idea why, but it must be done every night before he’ll go to sleep. Brooklyn has to hang onto my arm until she falls asleep. Lexi likes to be tickled, and she’ll squirm around and giggle for a few minutes before settling down to sleep. Jackson won’t admit it, but he just likes a big hug before retiring for the evening. And finally, Austin and Savannah might give me a quick kiss before turning in.