One of my favorite phrases as a sleep consultant is “Consistency is Key”, or as my husband likes to say “Kid-sistency is Key”. Whether the phrase is about their entire schedule throughout the day, the sleep training method you choose, or something as simple as a bedtime routine, being consistent is extremely important. It gives our kiddos comfort knowing what they can expect from us and it lets them see that we know what we’re doing as their parents (even if we do fake it most of the time).
When it comes to a bedtime routine, it doesn’t have to be a long drawn out process but instead it should be 10-30 minutes. A simple routine is milk, PJ’s, books, prayers and bed. Then, there’s the parents I bow down to that include a bath in their nightly routine. I must be too lazy to give the twins a bath every night before bed but it is such a great calming technique, so if that is part of your routine, kudos to you!
Here is what bedtime looks like in our house:
At 6:15, we have a white noise machine that plays a soothing, instrumental version of “Rock-a-bye Baby” that automatically plays throughout the house. This is a just reminder to my husband and I to turn off the TV, turn down the lights, and let the kids slow down in their playtime.
By 6:25, we give them their bottles of milk, we change their diapers, change into PJ’s, and then we walk up to their room to read a book or two.
By 6:45, we turn off the little light, and play a “Musical Pull-Tail Bunny” to lead us out of the room. Meaning, we play the bunny, pick up a baby, sway them for a few seconds, kiss them good night and put them in their crib fully awake, while the music plays for about 1 minute after we leave.
It ends up being 30 minutes from the start of the music, but it is slow paced and extremely simple.
For naps, we still have a routine, but all we do is change diapers (if needed), go to their room and MAYBE read 1 book (depending on how ready they are for a nap), then play their musical bunny as we leave the room. So simple, yet so important!