Oh no, it’s one of “those” posts. The kind that gently, yet with a subtle hint of smug, lists these “super simple” steps to some parenting challenge that has had you pulling your hair out for days/weeks. How to potty train in 5 hours…….3 simple phrases to end temper tantrums forever……10 ways you’re screwing up as a mom…….14 reasons why your son will now never get into college thanks to you not showing him how to subtract properly…….150 ways to go out of your mind reading parenting blogs.
Okay maybe that’s overkill but I swear in the dark hours after a very long parenting day while my eyes bug out pouring over my iPad searching for some good advice on how to handle our latest challenges, that’s how some of these types of posts read!
So here’s my disclaimer – the things I’m going to share are not rocket science. They are not magic. They don’t come with a guarantee of any sort. But they are listed here for you as a quick reference guide when you haven’t showered in who knows how long, every fiber of your being is just DONE for the day, reality TV-or-wine-or-dark chocolate-or-a good book-or-whatever your downtime guilty pleasure may be is calling your name and you just can’t fathom having another epic bedtime battle. So here goes:
Routine, routine, routine.
Whether you incorporate some of the ideas in this post or your own, stay consistent. There is a reason the little adage “kids thrive on routine” keeps showing up in every parenting book you read, because there’s truth in it! This doesn’t mean you have to go around feeling like you’re caught in the Groundhog Day movie – you can certainly add twists to routines – but stick with the basic outline each night and watch the beauty unfold!
Get the wiggles out.
What’s that you say? Thought this was supposed to be a “peaceful bedtime” post and now she’s mouthing off about wiggles and jumping on the bed? Okay, hear me out. I won’t get all fitness junkie on you and go on and on about kids these days not getting enough physical activity. Instead, I’ll just point out that each child is different and each require different levels of activity. While you may think the hours on the playground, the soccer practice, the wrestle mania on the living room floor just HAD to be enough, that might not be the case. If it’s close to bedtime and your little one is still going strong, wear them out! Use this time for amazing parent/child bonding – jump, tickle, roar, chase, laugh until you’re both falling on the bed in exhaustion.
They’re all the rage but truthfully these puppies go way beyond just making the room smell nice. Diffusing oils in their bedrooms, applying to the bottoms of their little feet along with a gentle massage or even a little drop on their favorite pal can be very effective ways to begin getting them to settle in for the night. We love simple single oils such as lavender or cedarwood but there are several reputable companies out there with great blends for relaxation and sleep. Do your research and give it a try!
I’m not referring to whipping out warrior poses or busting out an arm balance but encouraging some simple forward folds, legs up the wall and/or reclined type poses is a wonderful addition to a healthy, happy bedtime routine. Make sure you get in on this action too and share in the goodness that comes from a few simple postures.
Whether you read a book, create your own tall tales or simply recount the moments from your real lives throughout the day, story time is such a wonderful ritual to establish closeness, encourage language skills and begin to take the energy level down.
If all else fails, please remember this, it won’t be like this for long. That’s worth reading again. It won’t be like this for long. One day you will wake up and the nights of laying with them until they drift off to sleep will have vanished. Relish in it. Breathe it in. The shower can wait.
Love wins. Make it the backbone of your bedtime routine.