Monday, July 11, 2011

bedtime routine.

Amy Jay said...

I would like to know what your bedtime routine is for the kids so that everyone gets to bed on time! I just can't imagine the logistics! Is this one of the instances where you pair the kids up with their buddy? Thanks!

Honestly, bedtime around here is not chaotic.

And it's not so much based on getting them in bed at an exact time.

We do typically want the little guys in by 8pm and the older ones around 8:30 - 9:00pm.

But just the other night, we had family movie night where we borrowed a digital projector, cleared some space on the wall and hooked it up to my husband's old stereo which typically is stored in a closet somewhere.

The kids threw sleeping bags and their pillows all over the floor for our homemade movie theater experience. While we did put the littlest ones in bed at a normal time and some of the middle ones crashed on the floor, the oldest ones stayed up till 1am watching-- "The Sound of Music". It was terrific. I know it's hard to believe, but none of us had ever seen it.

Sometimes we just know our kids and base bedtime on what time naps occurred that day and what our plans are for that evening. For example, if the kids happened to go down for a late nap and didn't get up until 6pm, then we're probably not gonna have much success putting them down at 8pm.

Remember on Sunday and Wednesday nights we go to church and may not get home till 9:oopm on those evenings.
So for me to say that the kids are consistently in bed at such and such a time would not be accurate.

However, what we are consistent about is how the bedtime routine is carried out.

Kids buddy up for showers. Since we only have 3 girls, they usually all take their shower together. The four oldest boys go in by twos and Daddy usually gives Jasper his bath in the baby tub.

Everyone grabs their own pajamas including Lincoln and Sophia will usually pick out Ruby's.

During this time, either Ethan or Parker make bottles for Lincoln and Ruby.

After Jasper is bathed, I will nurse him to sleep while kids are all brushing their teeth and Daddy is putting the next three youngest to bed (Ruby, Lincoln, and Pearl). This consists of tucking in, praying with them, good night kisses, and picking up the room a little. While he's busy with them, the 4 oldest are usually found playing legos or night reading until we tell them lights out.

Then the four oldest say their prayers and Daddy will give them kisses and pray over them.

After I have nursed or rocked Jasper fast asleep and in his bed, I always check windows, close curtains and give out kisses. This is when I may also pray for a child concerning areas that I feel they need prayer in.

One thing we are implementing in our bedtime routine now that our schedule is less hectic is family night. This is when Daddy leads us in worship songs, prayer and an awesome bible story that he tells in his exciting ways. The kids love his famous storytelling. We have this on Monday nights. This doesn't mean we don't try and do other family fun before bed on other nights, but this is one that we want to be mandatory about.

In all honesty, if Jasper is having a fussy evening, my husband will step right in and run the ship. He's a great Dad like that.

And I think that is our bedtime in a nutshell. Not too crazy and not too rigid. The real key to success is that both parents are working together and know what's expected. AND the older ones are trained to help with the younger ones and even the little guys are taught what to do. Sometimes that may mean that an 18 month old gets her own towel for her shower or that your 4 year old gets her little sister's diaper and puts her pj's on. The more participation you have-- obviously, the less stressful it becomes. You can just supervise (yeah, right!).


Melinda said...

Sounds like you have it all down to a science. Wonderful!

Amy Jay said...

Thank you so much for answering! :)

Leanne said...

I THINK I've left comments for you before, yep, but it's been a LONG time!!! I love your blog....

I love your blog the most because well, I'm from CA and also, I really love it for your honesty and your real-ness.

I enjoy reading about other families as big as ours and days-in-the-life posts.

Thanks for your great posts!!!