Thursday, April 9, 2009

bedtime snack

I have been trying to get serious about the bedtime routine around here. It's so easy to think you have a bedtime routine of sorts but then it never really happens as it should. A week or two ago it dawned on me that if I truly want the kids to go to bed at a reasonable hour I'd better step up to the plate and become the "bedtime routine taskmaster." It's amazing how one little change in how you think about something can yield big results. Ken is on board with me on this, so all that is left has been to just really do it. I think especially when you work, and the evenings are getting longer, it's so easy to let the schedule go. But no more! It's good for all of us to have a routine.
One of the nice things that I have added in is the bedtime snack. I read about it in Sharifa Oppenheimer's book (I love her!) Heaven on Earth. She said that every night of her children's life they ate this comforting and sleep-inducing bedtime snack: whole wheat toast with honey and warm milk with honey and cinnamon. My children absolutely love it, and we follow the snack with stories so bedtime is not a struggle at all anymore. Pajamas go on before the snack. Now with the children in bed by 7:30 we at least have the possibility of some adult time. Hooray!

15 comments:

Angie said...

Fantastic idea. I have been having bedtime struggles as well, and it's mostly my fault for not enforcing a bedtime routine. Sometimes we do it, sometimes we don't. I am going to try the bedtime snack tonight. Have a great day!
~Angie

Joy said...

That's great that you've found a bedtime routine that works for you. We did the bedtime snack for a long time until the older kids weren't really hungry at bedtime because it had only been about 1.5 hours since dinner. Now we read through a chapter book together as a family. It takes a few weeks to get through the whole book only reading a chapter or two at night but it really settles every one down for the evening. It also helps with nighttime dawdling since they would hate to run out of time for family book reading. ;)

Shawn said...

I read that same thing in her book. I love it too! My son is only 7 1/2 months old but that will be one of our evening routines as well. I'm already a bedtime routine lover in that we are pretty scheduled here. Now, if I can only get a handle on the rest of our day...

Enjoy your new rhythm.

Question, did you happen to ever make the cake she has in the Heaven On Earth book?

melissa s. said...

just thinking about warm milk and honey makes me sleepy. mmmmmmm....

Maribeth said...

We, too, have felt that routine is important for our children's well-being. We have an 8-year-old daughter and 5 year-old son. They are in bed at 7:30PM with lights out by 8PM. We have declined to participate in many sports and extra-curricular activities because they would disrupt this routine.

Sarah and Jack said...

Jack has always had an early bedtime (around 7) and the biggest reason is that we get to spend some time together at the end of the day!
PS Did the cotton ball work?

Rachel said...

We do the bedtime snack thing with Joe. We're trying to keep to a routine, even though he's rarely asleep before 8.30 - but going upstairs at 7, then getting him to change into his pj's while I get his snack seems to be working well.
:)

Kelli said...

Yummr!

Jessica said...

I really enjoy a good bedtime routine, even as an adult. That snack sounds so wonderful!

Amber said...

I enjoyed that book too! We did this bedtime snack by candlelight all last winter & the boys loved it. Really sweet. The days are getting shorter here & soon we might start it again. Thanks for this post :)

Melissa said...

Bedtime routines are the best--I love how it's like a little switch that says "sleepy...." And if you always know what's coming next, the tantrums just melt away (well, maybe not melt, but by far diminish!)

Alycia in Va. said...

Plus the snack makes the kids look forward to the idea of bedtime...we follow ours up with then getting into PJ's, prayers, stories, sleep. Glad you found something that works..and enjoy that time alone with hubby :)

christina said...

We are trying to get back to an early bedtime and working on getting more of a routine around here too. Our bedtime snack is not routine but they usually want something after dinner. This snack sounds quite yummy, I think I may have to try it out.

Gift of Green said...

Thanks for these suggestions, Mary Beth! I too have been getting lazy about bedtime routines and then I wonder why I'm all huffy when I don't have any adult time for myself in the evening?!

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