When I just had one child, bedtime was a simple thing. We had our routine of potty, bath, tooth brushing, pyjamas, stories and cuddles down pat.
With two, it gets a little more complicated, especially while Baby D is still so little. He needs to go to sleep around 7:00 pm, while my daughter's bedtime is 8:00. He needs about half an hour of quiet nursing and cuddles to fall asleep - and my daughter has Crazy Time right before bed when she is full of beans and noisy as anything.
On good nights, however, we do manage to coordinate bath time so they can have a bath together (it's usually a two-parent job at our house!). My daughter adores the bath, and my son is starting to really enjoy splashing and relaxing in the water (though coming out of the bath is his cue to WAIL!). Even if my daughter is tired and getting whiny, the promise of a bath is enough to get her
to behave and change her attitude. And a cranky baby is always soothed
by warm water!
She loves "helping" by pouring water on him, and we're extra careful to explain that splashing is fun, but we don't splash each other in the face!
Bath time, while they're small, is a time for them to play together and relax after busy days. We are still using JOHNSON’S® NATURAL® baby products at bath time which I feel helps keep things consistent. The familiar smell is a part of the routine, and they associate it with sleepy time. And as an informed and concerned parent, I appreciate that they are paraben-free, dye-free, and phthalate-free.
I think if there's one thing that is a must for bedtime, it is story time. I strongly feel it's important to instill a love of reading in our children. Reading to kids is such a wonderful way to share time with them, explore language, discover new worlds (real and imaginary), and set them up for a lifetime of enjoyment and education through books. The only times our little ones go to bed without a story is if we've been away on a day trip and they've fallen asleep in the car - or if they've lost the privilege of story time by being naughty (my almost-three-year-old is very aware of her behaviour near bedtime so that she doesn't lose story time!).
We always let our daughter choose her two stories, and it's fun to see which ones she chooses to hear us read each night. Sometimes it's a streak of one thing or another (currently, Dr. Seuss is on heavy rotation), but sometimes she surprises me by pulling out an old favourite. It's also fun to watch our son as we read the stories aloud - he looks carefully at all the pictures and is fairly patient (for a four-month-old!) as we read through two books.
After story time, lights go out - we have a star projector for my daughter's room, and a night light for my son. Darkness helps cue the brain to sleep, and we try to keep things pretty dark without a complete blackout.
With a consistent bedtime routine, soothing all the senses, little ones can drift off to dreamland easily.
Disclosure – I am participating in the
JOHNSON’S® NATURAL® Blogger Campaign by Mom Central Canada on behalf of JOHNSON’S®
I receive compensation as a thank you for participating and for sharing
my honest opinion. The opinions on this blog are my own.