I’ve been a really rubbish blogger of late. Not blogging often enough at all. So I thought I’d give you a break from my usual ramblings and treat you all to a guest post from Emma at what2buy4kids. So settle in, grab a brew and read about the bedtime routine that works best for her 🙂
We know children need sleep. We also know that a consistent routine can help get kids to sleep. But how do we
make a routine that works for us? When I was trying to establish a routine, I remember asking my friend how she got
her little ones to bed and what the “tricks” were.
“It’s simple,” she said confidently, “it’s the 3 B’s: The Bath, Book and Bed routine!”
So, we tried that, and it worked, but not consistently. There were days when things were too rushed to enjoy the
“bath” part, or 1 story turned into 5 which threw in the “book” part into chaos, and then the delaying tactics
(requests for a drink, a final snuggle, an extra pillow, a favourite toy) threw the “bed” part out of the routine.
Eventually, I had the confidence to create a routine of our own, and make it work for our family. It’s not as neat
sounding as the “3 B’s” but it works for us! The key was, we planned a routine together and we stuck to it. Children
understand a plan and love to know what is coming next. Once we had the routine set up, and the kids knew how it
worked, we were on the road to much better bedtimes in our house.
Here is our QPBNBCB Routine (told you it’s not as neat sounding as the 3 B’s):
Step 1: Q is for Quiet. Allow about 20 minutes of quiet time before bath time, to wind down. This means no screen
time, no rowdy tickle games, no running around in the garden. Doing a jigsaw, colouring in together or just helping
each other tidy up are good quiet time activities.
Step 2: is P for Prepare. Just before bath time (as you’re running the bath), get your child’s room ready for bedtime.
Close the curtains, clear the bed, find their favourite toys, get a drink ready, and choose a book for later. Do these
jobs together so your child knows what is coming next.
Step 3: B is for Bath. Get the towel ready, put some bath toys in the bath and add bubbles to make washing fun.
While bathing, talk about your day and make plans for the next day. Keep rowdy games to a minimum and try some
lavender scented bath oil to add to the calm.
Step 4: N is for Nightlight. When pyjamas are on and teeth are brushed, make sure that a nightlight is on in the
bedroom. A nightlight makes a perfect bedtime environment in a child’s bedroom. We used adjustable lights that we
made brighter when it was reading time and dim when it was sleep time.
Step 5: B is for Book. The book your little one selected earlier will be out, ready to read. When reading, keep
chatting to a minimum, use a quiet tone of voice and enjoy the moment. Stick to the one book rule (or however
many you agreed to ahead of time).
Step 6: C is for cuddle. Once the book is finished, have a little cuddle time together. A lullaby, a prayer, saying
goodnight to the moon and a warm hug and a stroke of the hair is a lovely way to settle down to calm sleep.
Step 7: B is for Bed. Make the bed cozy, tuck them in and leave the room, knowing that they’re comfortable,
confident and ready for sleep. If they get out, gently lead them back and tuck them in again. Don’t engage in
conversation, just reassure them that it’s sleep time now. Promise you’ll check on them later.
If you modify and adapt our plan to make it work for you, and I’m sure you’ll have success with bedtimes in your