Because of church and The Farm keeping us out past bedtime at least 3 nights a week, the kids' bedtime routine is pretty streamlined and quick. Hubby is generally at The Farm or at work during the kids' bedtime so 98% of the time, I do it on my own. I can get all 3 kids in bed by myself in less than 20 minutes assuming no one throws a tantrum (ahem, I'm looking at you, Little Man).
|Looks comfy, no?|
With the two older kids not taking naps anymore (thanks to kindergarten and a general stubborness from Little Man) and Star still needing an early bedtime, I try to feed the kids supper at 5 pm so the bedtime routine can start between 6 and 6:30. They're all in bed by 6:30 or 7 at the latest. Thank goodness that the kids can't tell time yet or they'd probably protest their early bedtime :)
The two older kids are in charge of putting their pjs on while I change Star's diaper and get her into her pjs. Then I lay her down with her blanket and her pacifier in the pack n' play in my room and check on the progress/non-progress that the other kids are making. Once they're both in the pjs, they're supposed to put the dirty clothes in the laundry basket and head into the bathroom. They each go potty, get a drink of water, and brush their teeth. They like to "forget" one of those steps to give them an excuse to get back out of bed later so I double check that they're done with everything before it's time for a story. We read a devotional from Keys for Kids (You can get Keys for Kids for free through the mail, online or on the app) and then the kids each get to pick out one book to read.
We head into their room and the kids climb into bed, Princess on the bottom bunk and Little Man on the top bunk. We took the ladder down because we didn't feel it was safe to have up with a preschooler and toddler, but it has the added benefit of keeping Little Man from getting out of bed. :) I turn on a lullaby cd and their nightlight, rub their backs for about 30 seconds each, and tuck them in.
Star generally goes right to sleep when I lay her down. Unless they're super tired, the older two usually talk or play in their beds for a while before they fall asleep. Sometimes, they keep each other awake for a few hours which is pretty frustrating since I know it means that the next morning will be full of whining and tantrums if they stay up too late.
So that's our bedtime routine! Because of all three kids having very dry skin and exzema, I limit baths to 1-2 a week during the winter and 3-4 a week during the summer. Those are fit in whenever we find time--morning, afternoon, or before bed.
What's your bedtime routine like for your kids?