What would you do with 1 hour and 23 minutes of kid-free time? Yes, I know it’s exciting to think about, but stay with me here because that’s exactly how much time this bedtime routine can give you. With just four simple steps, your kids can be off to dreamland while you bask in the silence.
The bedtime bath
Bath time begins the transition to bedtime. It helps kids relax and unwind and can be something they look forward to each night. Don’t rush it! Sure, your bathroom may look like a pool party in the Bahamas when they start (and then look like the same pool party after a hurricane hit when they leave), but let them have fun.
Time saved: 23 minutes because they’re already getting sleepy
The bedtime story
Reading aloud to kids gives them a love of books, and also builds vocabulary, comprehension, and memory. If you can endure childbirth and pregnancy, you can endure the Velveteen Rabbit book one more time. I like to think that my kids are being soothed to sleep while envisioning fluffy bunnies in a meadow. More than likely, they are bored to sleep by the sound of my voice. Whatever works!
Time saved: 24 minutes in chasing them around the house
The wiggles and giggles are like cousin Fred who never wants to leave the party and wears out his welcome. Quiet Time is like Aunt Darla who is more than willing to kick Fred out. Turn down the lights and the wiggles and giggles will slowly leave the party.
Time saved: 16 minutes in yelling, “Be quiet and go to sleep already!”
Lights out time
Lights out means no more interaction. No talking, no drinks, no snacks. If they get out of bed, resist the urge to lecture and get all drama and just say “Bedtime.”
Time saved: 20 minutes in arguing and whining
With this easy bedtime routine, they will be sound asleep in no time and you will be…well, the possibilities are endless.