Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Get to Bed, Girlies!! 5 Tips for Bedtime Success

Bedtime isn't too stressful in our home now that the girls are getting older, but I must admit that it hasn't always been this way. With our first child, we took the easy way out and had a family bed. She came around 9 months old when she was teething and then stayed until about 3 years old. I don't regret this though, because it was a way for me to bond with her when I was working full-time. (before I had children I said that I would NEVER do this. Funny, huh?) Next, she moved into a toddler bed, but it was next to our bed. When our second was born, she loved her crib, so we didn't have her sleep with us like our first. When the girls were 4 and 2, they finally moved into big girl beds in their own room. At first we would lay with them to get them to sleep and then eventually we weaned them of this. Often we would find one in the other's bed.

For the most part bedtime goes pretty smoothly in our household with occasional bouts of drama. Here are some bedtime tips that have worked for us.

1. Set a bedtime and try to stick to a routine. I try to give the girls a warning a 1/2 hr before to let them know that it's getting close to bedtime. (Of course there is always an exception to the rule, such as special occasions. The girls have been up a little later due to Christmas specials. I wish they aired them an hr. earlier.)

2. Limit physical activity 1/2 before bed- dancing, jumping around, etc. Encourage calm activities. (Need to remind my husband of this who loves to tickle them right before bed!)

3. Limit sugar intake- small desert after dinner, but no sweets after that.

4. Stories before bed, soft bedtime songs, and prayers help to settle the girls.

5. Rewards. Yes, we are guilty of bribery. At one point, we were having such a difficult time keeping our girls in bed and it was driving us bonkers, so we bribed them with warmed chocolate milk. If they stayed in bed they would get this warm treat in the morning with their breakfast. It worked! Eventually we weaned them and every once in a while they will ask "Hey, where's our chocolate milk?"

Do you have some creative tips for getting your kiddos to bed on time and staying in bed? If so, be one of the first 100 bloggers to post your tips and tricks and you will receive a pink St. Eve's Cozy for you and for one of your readers(girls sizes 6-9). St. Eve's collections include undergarments, pajamas, and more for both boys and girls. They feature trendy themes and the very cute Drama U characters. For more details and to enter, head on over to www.twittermoms.com!
Be sure to check out all of the adorable characters over at www.DramaU.net as well.

Guess what? The girls went to bed right away tonight! No Drama. Woo Hoo. Now it's my turn. I wish I had a grown up Cozy right now.

Take Care!



The Activity Mom said...

It has taken us awhile to get in a routine too but a TIMED NIGHT LIGHT really helped. When it comes on, time for bed! When it goes off, it's ok to get up. You can read about it here:

Gil Buckman said...

Hi, I have 2 ideas to share if I may.
#1 we have found that we need to make them feel like it is ok to be in bed. That bedtime is not a punishment. We have had some success w/ letting her play quietly in her bed w/ stuffed animals. This makes the transition to sleep a little easier, at least for us.
#2 is breakfast related. She loves to make pancakes w/ us especially when we use this stuff we bought at Costco last week, organic Batter Blaster. She loves to spray it on the pan herself.
Yeah, this may be bribery. But we can live w/ that. "Big girl" stuff is big w/ her right now so this helps for sure. At least some of the time....
Happy Holidays and thank you for making this post.

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