November 5, 2018

Better Bedtimes

Bedtime for us was a mess. We had three different kids in need of three different bedtimes, with only two adults and two of the kids sharing a bed room. It seemed unlikely.

Sometimes you just have to bite the bullet and try anyway.

Our initial routine had Nicole and Alexis on the same schedule, both going to bed between 7:30 and 8pm. Alexis was always over tired by the time 7:30 rolled around. She’d have a hard time sitting still at the homework table, or playing quietly, and would often inadvertently distract Nicole. The more Nicole lost focus, the longer it took for her to finish her work. The more over tired the girls got, the less cooperative they were getting dressed into PJs or brushing teeth. As a result, we often weren’t going to bed on the best note. While I can’t say for certain, I believe the rocky bedtime was effecting the quality of their sleep, and by transitivity, our sleep.

The first change we made was to move teeth brushing and pajamas to immediately after dinner, before homework. While Domingo helps the girls get ready for bed, I’m giving Dana her bath and putting her down to sleep. Usually Nicole and Alexis finish before I come down stairs, and start homework while waiting for me.

Once I put Dana to bed at 7, it’s Mommy & Alexis time until 7:30. Alexis picks out a chapter book for me to read as a bed time story. The nice thing about our new routine is it lends itself well to natural consequences. If she hasn’t cooperated with Daddy and isn’t in her pajamas with her teeth brushed, we have less reading time. Thus far we have only had to skip bed time story once for the lesson to sink in.

When Nicole finishes her homework she either works on her math game for school, or practices her reading with Domingo until I put Alexis to bed at 7:30. Then it’s Nicole’s turn for individual Mommy time. She goes to bed at 8. By then, Alexis is almost always asleep.

The down side to our new routine is Alexis is getting less “homework” time to practice her letters and numbers. What we’re gaining is the reintroduction of bed time stories, 20-30 minutes of individual mommy time for each girl, additional reading and math practice for Nicole, and a more peaceful bedtime. I’ll call that a win.

Now I need to figure out a way to have better mornings so we’re not always rushing to get out the door on time.

Posted in Family Life


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