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Bedtime Schedule's for toddlers/preschoolers

We are really struggling with bedtime right now, so I'm wondering what your bedtime schedule/ritual is like?  We don't currently have a regular schedule and it's not working with the boys.  Not enough wind down time and time to realize it's bedtime.
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Re: Bedtime Schedule's for toddlers/preschoolers

  • After dinner, mine play for a little while. How long they play depends on how late dinner was served.  Then it's clean up time.  They're allowed to watch a bit of TV...usually a part of a movie of their choosing then it's shower/bath time.  After shower/bath it's story time, prayers, teeth brushing, hugs/kisses and off to bed.

    They sometimes protest certain things like having to pick up their toys, or skipping story time if it's late, but the routine has been set since they were old enough to have a routine...around 1 ish so there are no surprises. Protest all they want, they know what to expect and what's expected of them.  Though they know the routine, we still give them a bit of a warning like, "5 minutes till the TV is off and it's bed time." It's only fair though because they can't really tell time all that well yet. I find a little warning goes a long way with them.

    Once in their room for the night they must stay in their room unless they have to go potty.  They do not have to fall asleep right away, they are allowed to stay up and play nicely and quietly for a little while. When they're tired they climb into bed and fall asleep on their own.

  • We usually shoot to head up to the rooms at 7:30.  Then from 7:30 to 8 we take baths (on bath nights), put on pjs, go potty and read books.  We strive for lights out at 8.
  • We eat dinner at about 6:30, finish around 7.  Then about a half hour of hanging out outside or bathtime on bath nights. 

    at 7:30 both girls get in their jammies, I brush Lexi's teeth, and then I read them three stories (2 that Lucy picks, one that Lexi picks)

    7:45ish - Lucy goes downstairs for a bedtime snack with daddy while I nurse Lexi

    8ish - Lexi in bed

    After Lucy finishes her snack she gets her teeth brushed and goes potty (maybe an extra story if she's having a good night) and then she is in bed around 8:30.

    We had big problemos with bedtime around the time Lucy was 2.5 till she was 3.5.  I think it's a stage. 

    Mama to Lucy (7/06), Lexi (5/09), and Max (11/11) M/C 12/17/10
  • This is for DD obviously:
    6:30-7 pm:  head upstairs to get ready for bed.  This comes with plenty of warnings like "okay, we're going to go upstairs in a bit to get ready for bed."  After we are upstairs, we tackle the hard stuff first:  brush teeth, wash face, go potty, PJs. 
    6:45-7:30 (at the latest):  her choice -- we can read books or watch a little TV in mommy and daddy's bed (sometimes we don't give that as an option if tv has already been watched) or sing songs or play with her toys and kitchen together.  Whatever she likes.  But when it is time, she knows to hop in bed, she gets some choices (covers on or off?  what color for the twilight turtle?  stuffed animal or doll to snuggle?  how low on the light?) and then it is bedtime.  Close the curtains (room darkening), turn on the fan, dim the lights.  Rule is she stays in her room, in bed, quiet.  I don't care that she's singing with her dolls in there or playing with them.  She just has to stay in bed.


    image
    DD -- 5YO
    DS -- 3YO

  • When Ryan was younger (and it's not summertime):

    7:30 - shower/teeth/hair

    8:00 - story/tuck in

    We were always verrrrry consistent about the bath, eat (as an infant), teeth, story, bed routine pretty much from birth, and I know that helped.  I wasn't consistent with Megan and now she can't fall asleep without a tv on.  Grrrrrr. 

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    Bloggy McBloggerson
    CO Nestie Award Winner-Prettiest Brain-Back to Back!
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    1/1-New Year's 5K-22:11
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  • If we are outside running around or she is all hyped up - then about 7:15, I suggest that we sit down and watch a few minutes of her movie.  If she's not all hyped up, then I skip this part.

    7:30 - upstairs and into the bath tub (if it's bath night), if not, we head upstairs about 7:45/7:50.

    She goes potty, she gets lotion on and we talk about the next day (i.e. tomorrow is soccer day at school or swim lessons, etc).  Then we brush teeth and then into bed (right around 8).   We read 2 stories and then I turn off the lights.  I sing a couple of songs and then I leave her room.  I'm out of her room by 8:10/8:15 depending on how much she chit chats.

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  • dinner starts around 6:15/6:30 - he's a SLOW eater lately - ugh!!  so hopefully he's done by 7.  If it's a bath night he gets to play until 7:15ish and then we take a bath.  the quicker he takes a bath and puts on pajamas the more time he as for playing before bed.  after bath/pjs he gets a snack and then plays for 3-10 min (we pick a random number depending on how "quick' we think he was).  then brush teeth, read one book or one chapter of a book, kisses, drink of water and we're outta there.  he can stay up with his light on to read.  usually he falls asleep around 8:30. 

     we have had a pretty consistent bedtime routine since he was a baby.

    image
  • Dinner is right around 5:30 or 6pm.

    Then we play outside, or take a walk or bike ride for about an hour.

    Every other night is bath night, so at that time we bathe Georgia (sometimes with Willis too, sometimes not, depending on if he feels like sharing a bath), then put her down for 7:30 or 8.  Willis goes down at 8:30.

    We use the microwave timer for Willis and that has worked very well so he knows bedtime is coming but isn't quite "yet."  Usually we'll put it on for 20 minutes before he has to go to bed, and we give him periodic warnings ("only a few more minutes, buddy!") and then when it goes off he is mentally prepared that it's nighttime.  (We do occasionally get a meltdown, but at least he is still in motion to go to bed.)

    Waiting for some innocuous creativity... I'll let you know.
  • You've gotten good info and schedules and ours is similar.

    Dinner, play, "fruit time" (which is our version of dessert) around 7:30, straight to bath, dressed, stories, songs, bed.

    The one thing we did recently that's been working well was that if we noticed they were really wound up close to bed time we'd let them do 5 "run away naked's" before bath.

    They streak down the hall giggling their heads off with no clothes on.

    They love it and it burns off that last bit of wiggly energy so that bath and the rest of bed are a bit more subdued.  By giving them an outlet that was OK'd by us and had set limits (3 trips down the hall, 5 trips down the hall, etc) they did less screwing around later on because they got to be crazy goofy earlier.

    And... it's a good time for me to get their bathroom and tub cleaned. 

    Another thing we noticed when Dylan wasn't calming down was that he was napping too late in the day and was honestly just not tired at bed time.  Any chance you can bump nap time forward a bit so they're more tired?

    We also notice a difference in energy level at bed time if we go for a walk after dinner instead of less physical play around the house.

    Wear those boys OUT Mamma!!! 

    Our IF journey: 1 m/c, 1 IVF with only 3 eggs retrieved yielding Dylan and a lost twin, 1 shocker unmedicated BFP resulting in Jace, 3 more unmedicated pregnancies ending in more losses.
    Total score: 6 pregnancies, 5 losses, 2 amazing blessings that I'm thankful for every single day.
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