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MC: Bedtime Schedule

I am part of an AWESOME mommy panel with Cassie from Two In Diapers and Julie from Naptime Review.
Each Saturday, we will bring you fresh new ideas and advice about motherhood.
If you enjoyed what you read, we encourage you to tweet about it!
Coming on February 9th, we will discuss:
How do you refuel your mom tank?
Now on to this week's topic!
How do you keep your family's bedtime schedule manageable?
Here is what Mom Connection shared:
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Welcome! I'm Julie over at Naptime Review. I am a mom of two wild, crazy and beautiful girls. My oldest just turned 4 and my baby is 16 months old. This is how I keep my family's bedtime schedule manageable:
So what parent doesn’t deal with the struggle of keeping your kids in bed? Some nights Averie stays up later than we do. She is a night owl, so there is always that power struggle, endless sips of water, monsters under her bed, and the best one is when she says, “Mommy, I didn’t get a hug or kiss from you all day.” She’s a smart one! I found some tips from Love and Logic I wanted to share. Sadly, I fail when it comes to some of these tips and strategies. Since Averie is a night owl, we let her play quietly on her Leap Pad until she falls asleep.
Here are a few tips from the experts.
1.Create a routine: We do have our routine or laying out our clothes, reading stories, snuggle time and prayers.
2.Turn off electronic stimulation: Nope, we fail at this! However, it says that electronic stimulation makes it more difficult for a child to calm down.
3.Give plenty of choices: You can’t force a kid to sleep so you can give them choices such as lights on or off? Books on the floor or bed?
4.Model Confidence: When saying good night make it quick and positive. I am a pro at this one. Ha!
5. Enforce without emotions and too many words: Show kids it is ok to be alone as long as they stay in their room. Yep, did I mention power struggles? We need to work on this one.
Hi! I'm Cassie from Two In Diapers, and I'm a mommy to three sweet babies, ages 4, 3, and 20 months. This is how I keep my family's bedtime schedule manageable:
My husband and I decided immediately when our oldest was born that we never wanted to get into a long bedtime routine. We had seen friends and relatives struggle with putting their kids to bed and end up with a bedtime routine that was sometimes hours long, and we really wanted this time to be short and sweet.
Beginning when they are babies, I normally {after changing diapers and what-not} stand swaying beside their crib and sing a song {usually the same one each night so they learn to know what is coming after the song}, and then we smother them with kisses, say goodnight and leave the room while they are wide awake. While this does serve the fabulous purpose of allowing them to learn how to soothe themselves to sleep, it has also taught our littles that bedtime means just that - bed time. While this has meant a different thing for each baby... my boys always fell asleep almost immediately but Emily always played in her bed for a while before falling asleep... we try to be consistent on one thing: following tuck-in is mommy and daddy time. If they stall at bedtime, we remind them that they are cutting into mommy and daddy time.
As they've gotten older, bedtime also means going potty, putting on jammies and brushing teeth. After those tasks are done, everyone {in theory} climbs into his or her bed and waits to be tucked in. It doesn't always go quite this smoothly... but usually the most that happens is one or two of them play while we get the littlest ones dressed and ready.
While it does sound like we miss out on precious and valuable time reading books or chatting with our children, we definitely make the most out of our days and earlier evenings {and weekends, for daddy} for those special times. Since bedtime happens every night whether a parent is in the mood or not, we want to make sure that ours never becomes too long, exhausting, or burdensome for anyone.
Oh... and one more important plus: bedtime is easy for our babysitters!
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My name is Alexa from No Holding Back. I am the mom of Nayner Bug (male, 5), Jelly Bean, (female, 3) and Tiny (female, 1). This is how I keep my family's bedtime schedule manageable:
There was a time when bedtime made all of us cry. It was a terrible experience. Tantrums, tears, kids in and out of bed. Frustration. I did not realize early on how drastically important early bedtimes and CONSISTENT routines are! It is true: Children thrive on routine. And they will stay up all night if you let them, but they need sleep.
So, with some advice from other moms who seemed to have it down pat, I implemented a simple change. I printed out a bedtime checklist, and I backed up the bedtime routine. I want the kids in their beds by no later than 8:30, so we start our routine by no later than 7.
Every night of the week, Monday-Sunday (special occasions or outings excluded) we start baths at 7pm. After bath is either game, story, or sometimes they get treated with an episode of Backyardigans. This used to be a nightly event, but I realized it ate up too much time and wasn't great for them. They have a snack, brush their teeth and get in bed. I sing songs, say prayers, and kiss them goodnight.
Sometimes they still get out of bed a few times, but for the most part, we no longer have the night time drama, and my life is SO MUCH BETTER!
It took a month or two of consistently repeating the routine every night before it stuck. It was worth the effort!
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My name is Fotini! I blog over at Glamorous Affordable Life. I am the mom of (Isabella 20 months and Christian 6 years). This is how I keep my family's bedtime schedule manageable:
I started bedtime routines with my kids from a very early age. I think this is the key to successful sleepers! I have had really good success with Isabella, starting around 3 months old. Every other night I would bathe her, put on a lavender sleep scented lotion, and sing a couple of lullabies. At this age until about one year, she wanted to be in bed by 6:30 p.m. and would sleep until about 7 a.m. Now that she's older, I still continue with the same routine, but put her to bed around 7 p.m. She loves her bed and tells me every time she's tired or ready for a nap. This makes it so simple on my husband and I!!
Christian is a good sleeper too! On school nights his bedtime is 8:40 p.m. and on weekends I let him stay up no later than 9:30 p.m. He was much more difficult as a toddler about going to bed, though. Once he was able to understand he could climb out of his crib, it started becoming a problem. Once that happened, we began converting him to a toddler bed and that was a bit of a challenge for us! It took a lot of patience and working with him to get him to stay in his bed for the first week or two. He would get up numerous times during the night once we put him down. I simply would walk him back to his bed without saying a word, tuck him in and walk away. Sometimes I felt like a complete zombie during the night doing this for almost two weeks, but in the long run it paid off! After a few months of sleeping in his, crib converted to toddler bed, we let him pick out his own "big boy" bed. Wouldn't you know it, he picked out a hot blue little tikes car bed! He absolutely adored this bed, and couldn't wait to go to sleep each night! We've never had problems with him as a sleeper since! Now, let's just home the transition for Isabella goes this smooth :)
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My name is Kristen from The Mrs. & The Momma. I'm the momma of three girls (ages 7, 5, & 3) and a little boy (18 months). This is how I keep my family's bedtime schedule manageable:
First of kids need A LOT of sleep. My school-age children are in bed asleep before 7pm every night. Making this a reality takes a lot of consistency, teamwork between me and my husband, and laying out clear expectations. Our kids know that when we say "get upstairs and start your bedtime routine", it means PJ's, brush teeth, and potty. We also keep a close eye on the clock. If we see that it's getting too late, we'll help hurry along the process, but also try to walk that fine line of avoiding potential melt-downs. Ultimately, sleep trumps most activities in our family. I know that one day, they won't require so much....but for right now, a smooth and consistent bedtime schedule is the key to our family's sanity. :)
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Your Turn:

How do you keep your family's bedtime schedule manageable?
Leave us a comment; we love to read your tips and advice!
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