Bedtime Routines

Tracking Pixel
So you have a non preschooler.

I do, too.

Does yours like to go to bed? Or do yours? (I don’t know how many kids are in your house).

Because mine don’t.

Well, the older two don’t.  My 4 year old will put herself to bed. But my “grade schoolers” will fight and stall and use any and every delay tactic they can. Every single night.

Which usually includes being on the brink of actual dehydration and they or they will die from the unquenchable thirst that we forced them to suffer through.

Now that I think about it, I maybe exaggerated.  They do go to bed quite readily.  Both on Christmas Eve and The night before Easter (it’s not Easter Eve, but you know).  Also the night the switch witch (AKA Candy Witch) comes and swaps a little present for their Halloween candy.  But the other 362 nights a year?

Delay, delay, delay and stall.  Lather, rinse, repeat.

And mind you, we have routines in place.  We’re big fans of the whole concept of bedtime routines.

This is how the bedtime routines for older kids *ideally* goes:

6:45 Pajamas on, faces washed

7:00 Family time.  Board game, tv show, adults reading aloud to children.

7:30 Bathroom use and teeth brushed.

7:45 Kisses, hugs, tucks into covers. Reading in bed with totally cool book lights mom found for Christmas until 8pm

reading before bed

8:00 Lights out (quiet music allowed if desired)


ACTUAL bedtime routines in my house?

6:45 Parents tell kids it’s time for pajamas. Kids ask for snacks.

7:00 Kids ask for snacks.  Suddenly remember important THINGS!! they must share immediately. Like the shiny rock discovered at recess eleven weeks ago. Also, kids are really thirsty.  Kids ask and beg for drink and snack.

7:05 Kids are in pajamas. Parents are trying to hold out on the no snack no drink thing but kids are wearing them down with persistence and sheer numbers.  3 kids, 2 parents. It’s not looking good for the parents.

7:10 Four year old is out of pajamas.  Cackling maniacally while galloping around the living room shouting ” PLEASE DON’T STARE AT MY BUM.” Parents inquire why her pajamas have been removed. She explains how she is SO HUNGRY and thirsty and couldn’t keep her pajamas on.

7:15 All children in pajamas. One has a clean face.  The other two seem to have applied some form of war paint to their faces, and are starting to fill their sad little eyes with tears because THEY ARE THIRSTY.

7:16 Parents weigh the benefits of giving food and drink to children.

7:16 1/2 Parents remember the nice dinner that was in front of children that was cleaned up at 6:15 including beverages for the same children insisting they haven’t had any drinks all day.  Parents remind children of this and that they are using up family game time.

7:18 Parents announce that kids who do a through job brushing teeth without complaint for a full 2 minutes can have a small glass of water. Victory for overly dramatic kids everywhere.

7:23 Kids have brushed and want water.  Kids want more water.  Kids want snack and more water.  Then milk. they want milk. “You never let us have milk anymore.”

7:25 Parents kiss kids.  Parents hug kids. Kids decide that mom and dad might be losing their marbles and maybe they should go read a funny story together.

bedtime stories

Please note, no children were harmed in this photo. They did this of their own free, strange will.

7:30 Four year old wants a drink.

7:31 Six year old is really thirsty.

7:35 8 year old “has” to brush her teeth again, and it makes her thirsty.

7:40 Kids ask to play a game.  Parents remind them it’s a school night. Kids are outraged.

7:45 Four year old falls asleep, sans pajama bottoms.

8:00 Both big kids “sneak” down to ask for some water.

8:20 Kids are sleeping. Parents stare blankly at a Disney Channel rerun and wonder who will wake up and come downstairs first.

8:30 Parents asleep on couch.

bedmats pic

In all seriousness, we do have a bedtime routine.  1 night out of 10, things are smooth sailing for bedtime.  Honest.  For kids who have issues with bedwetting, GoodNites Bed Mats are something I keep on hand in the house at all times.  They are discreet and so simple to use, and super quick to dispose of in the event of a bedwetting incident. Kids don’t have to worry about having wet sheets all night or having to wake up mom to help.

bedtime routines

So all of your kids, no matter how big or small, can have a dry night’s sleep. So…here’s my question.  Is there a GoodNites Bed Mat under my daughter? Or not?

I’ll never tell.  And she won’t have to.  Her secret (or lack of) is safe with me.

What’s your bedtime routine like?


About the author: I’m a 30-something mom to three, brand ambassador. content creator, social media maven, blogger extraordinaire, earth lover, butcher, baker, candlestick maker (or something along those lines) – love word games, crafting, cake decorating or shooting pictures.

7 comments… add one
  • Routine is everything. We are a pretty relaxed family in many ways but bed time is bed time and once in bed you don't get out. If they can't sleep then they are allowed to read a book (not a screen) and they always have a glass of water beside their beds so no "I'm thirsty". There are some things that seem to disrupt routine and I guess we re learn that over and over. Our kids are 8 & 10. They both wear goodnights 'just in case'. Disrupted routine can usually be traced back to things like sugar or chocolate. Like if we have friends over for dinner and have dessert or if they maybe have soda say at a party. Then there is messing around, difficulty in getting to sleep and sometimes a wet goodnight. I agree with other posters that 'no snacks'.
  • I don't have a bath time routine, but when my daughter was younger, it was pick up toys, eat, bath time, then story time.
  • HA! That's pretty much the same way the bedtime routine goes at my house. Nothing ever goes as planned.
  • Love this! My son used to come up with the most hilarious excuses to stay up a little later.
  • LOVE this account! The 4 year old with no bottoms...too funny!
  • My child is much older so I don't have this any more. I have to say, your routine made me laugh.
  • So glad to hear that we aren't the only ones that have issues getting the kids in bed. They're getting better now that they are 11 and 9 but it's still a battle. Our rule is no snacks if they don't eat their dinner, no snacks after 7:30 and no snacks after they have had any kind of dessert. So if they want candy, nothing else before bed.

Leave a Comment