bedtime routine

Sometimes I feel like a really horrible parent. We are so lax around here sometimes. For example, we have no bedtime routine to speak of. At all. At some point during the night, one or several of us get tired, and then we get into bed and go to sleep. Sometimes Wally chooses to sleep in whatever pants he was wearing that day, sometimes he puts on jammie pants, sometimes he sleeps naked (most of the time). He always brushes his teeth. (as do we.) Sometimes we watch a TV  show. Sometimes we read. Sometimes we do both. Sometimes we just go to sleep. Sometimes, we spend an hour telling Wally that he doesn’t have to sleep but if he’s going to be in bed with us, he absolutely must lay still and quiet. (He is also permitted to get up and play in his room if he’s not tired, or to sit in the chair in the bedroom and play. I’ve found him a few nights curled up in the chair, sleeping.)

But, while it seems so disorganized and like the total opposite of good parenting, it’s how it’s always been and it seems to work. Every time we’ve tried to be more formal about bedtime, it’s lasted like 3 days and then we don’t follow the routine for some reason, and that’s it…

Everything I’ve read suggests that a good bedtime routine is essential to a happy, healthy family. But we all get to sleep, we all get a reasonable amount of sleep (well, ok, except me), and there aren’t any battles. 9 nights out of 10, there’s no arguing or trouble about going to sleep. The other night… it’s usually that he’s either not tired (due to nodding off in the car, usually) or he’s too tired and has leaped over into hyperactivity.

So…there you go.

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6 responses to “bedtime routine

  1. I think night time routines are overrated for some families. It’s like you said, you read that you are supposed to have one. Well, I’ve read that I am supposed to vaccinate, and start solids before 4 months of age, and never co-sleep. But those things WORK for our family. Same with your bedtime routine I would wager. It doesn’t make you a bad parent, it makes you a parent who can recognize what’s working for her family, in their situation. A bed time routine around would fall flat on it’s face in two nights. No way it would last. It’s just now how we roll.

  2. I’ve never gone to bed at the same time every night so I don’t really expect the baby to. She’s 4-months-old…what kind of routine can you start with a child that young!? She doesn’t need a bath daily. She often won’t sit through the reading of a book (I don’t think she realizes what’s going on with books yet). And older child I could see…but an infant? I keep reading about getting her on a bedtime routine, but I don’t know what one would consist of. She eats at some point before sleeping, that’s about it. I wouldn’t worry about it…some people don’t need routine like others do.

    • I was really more thinking of the 4 year old than the baby!

      But I have enjoyed the “we don’t have a routine either” comments. Last month at my knitting group, everyone was discussing bedtime routines and I asked if anyone there did NOT have a routine because I was really starting to feel like such a slacker parent who was setting my child up for a lifetime of sleep issues or something. Sabbath responded that they don’t either, and though I’m not normally one to need peer support like that, it was nice to know I’m not the only parent without a bedtime routine…

  3. I have been reading your blog for a few weeks now and thought I should leave a comment of some sort :-). We don’t co sleep(we messed that up a long time ago but I hope we can change that with our next… whenever that happens) Even though they are not in our bed with us we don’t really follow a routine either when they are tired they go to bed, be it 8 or 10 they just go. Sometimes the oldest doesn’t want to go to sleep yet and sometimes he asks to go to bed haha. Routines are too much of a pain in the butt, you just have to take things as they come, I have had to get myself out of the mainstream way of parenting to realize this. Its a much happier house this way.

  4. Our routine is pretty simple- get our daughter to sleep whatever way involves sleep before 11 without crying. Good parenting is doing what works not what you are “supposed” to. Every time we get a routine going my daughter changes things up on us. Like tonight I had planned on getting up after she fell asleep. Now she has a death grip on my arm so I am typing one handed on an iPod. So don’t stress about not having a routine 🙂

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