Night routine for kids
After an exciting day, it can be very difficult for children to relax and get ready to go to bed in the evenings. To make this process a little bit easier and to bring some more routine into your everyday life, we have put together an example of a night routine for children. We have collected the best tips from different parents and put them together in this article. We have also created a Night Time Planner for you! Take a look:
A family dinner is the perfect way to start a relaxed evening and night routine. As digesting food properly is important for children to be able to sleep well and takes some time, children should not go to bed with a full stomach. This is why we recommend starting the evening with dinner. Often times the kids are having lunch at school or only parts of the family are at home for lunch, therefore dinner is a great opportunity for a routine family activity every day.
Tidy up Time
While the parents, the babysitter or the older children are busy with cleaning the kitchen after dinner, the younger children have time to get rid of the chaos in their bedrooms. Many researchers confirm that you sleep much better in a clean and tidy environment rather than a messy one. Also try to make cleaning up an easy routine for the kids by having a fixed space for every toy in the room. Labeled boxes and small compartments in large drawers will help you keep organised. And while you are busy with cleaning the kitchen and the remains of the dinner, it will be easier for the kids to clean their rooms unsupervised.
In order to prevent increased adrenaline levels before going to bed but to reduce it, relaxing games and activities are the perfect solution. If the kids like to read, a book can be a great way to relax. Reading to them is also very relaxing for children, even if they can already read themselves. For many families, a few minutes of television are part of a functioning night routine. We recommend that you closely observe the behavior of the children after watching TV. If you feel that the children are getting very energetic and nervous, the TV should probably not be a part of your night routine. However, if it helps the kids to relax, there's nothing wrong with turning on the TV for a few minutes.
Planning the next morning
Another activity that can be integrated into the night routine and that helps you to save time, is preparing for the next morning. This includes packing their bag for pre school or school and preparing their clothes for the next day. But be aware: the selection of the right outfit can be a huge source of dispute for kids at a certain age! The best thing you can do is to let the kids decide for themselves first and then make any necessary changes to the outfit. No, you can not go to school with a sleeveless dress in winter. No, you can not wear woolen tights at 27 ° C. No, your princess costume is not a suitable outfit for football training. If you are still looking for more tips for a morning routine, you can find them here.
Getting ready for bed
This part of the night routine is probably the part that causes the most disputes and the biggest arguments. When it’s pyjama time, the kids become aware that it's going to be time for bed soon and miraculously get an energy boost. However, if you had dinner a while ago and the kids had the opportunity to relax and calm down after dinner, this step is usually easier. Give them the time they need to change, brush their teeth, and wash their faces. On some evenings, this can be done in 5 minutes and on other occasions it may take a little longer. Compare it with the effort you sometimes need to get up from the couch and go to the bathroom in the evening.
If you have developed and maintained a night routine that works for you, this last step should not be a problem anymore. A bedtime story or listening to the radio can relax the children and help them fall asleep even faster. If you are still struggling to get your children to sleep you can find more tips here.
Did you find these tips helpful? Print out our Night Routine Planner to use with your little ones.
As just mentioned, it is important in a night routine, or a routine in general, to find one that works for you and your family. Some children can relax in front of the TV, others become even more active and energetic. Some children enjoy reading a book in the evenings, for other children it is plain torture and they would rather listen to the radio. Find out what works for you and create the perfect night routine for your family!