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If your DC have an early bedtime, what is your evening routine?

post #1 of 33
Thread Starter 

If your child(ren) are asleep by 7pm or so, what is your evening routine? What time do you eat supper? Does your child eat earlier than the adults/older children? When do you do bath time?


I've realized recently that DS would benefit from an earlier bedtime with 7pm being the target for lights out, if not asleep. The biggest problem I see with that is that DH gets home at 5:30, we sometimes have my nephew here until 6 and generally eat supper at 6pm. I just don't know how to eat and complete a bedtime routine in that short a time frame.


At the moment our routine is supper around 6-6:30, clean the kitchen/play until 7:15, potty, bath, pjs, teeth, books, lights out around 8pm. Obviously bathtime would have to be at another time (morning maybe? I'm a new SAHM) but I could use some suggestions on the whole routine. We will also be working to extend wake up time, which is currently 6/6:30 every day, but I think an earlier bedtime is going to be more realistic. TIA!

post #2 of 33

DS has an early bedtime, normally between 6pm & 7pm 


It all depends on how late/how long his afternoon nap is. If he takes a later, longer morning nap he will only nap for about 20 minutes in the afternoon (sometimes not at all) and so by 6pm he's a cranky pants. I do a bath a few times a week, lavender massage (almost always unless I forget) and we bed share so I lay/feed him until he falls asleep. Tonight it was 7:30 which is late for him -- he wakes up at 6 or 6:30am. 


My DD goes to bed at 8:30 but she has Daddy-time in the evening so that's why. We do an early 5:30pmish dinner

post #3 of 33

I have 3 and beditme is 7:00 for the toddler, 730 for the 5 year old and 8 for the oldest, at least that is the goal! I am struggling to get the youngest into bed at 7:00, and the oldest in bed at 8:00. When it does work, here is how, eat around 5:30 or 6:00, then start bedtime routine at 630. sometimes the bay goes straight from the table to bath if he is really messy, which works good! because I seem to get a head start. One of us does dishes,a nd one does the bath. the older 2 dont' bath daily, but whenthey do bath the 5 year old baths with the baby to get to bed on time, or after, and that throws things off. I try to have the younger 2 ready for bed at 7:00, the the 5 year old readsor colors, while I put the baby to slepp, then after I can read a story and say good night to 5 year old so lights out at 730. My oldest can bath, and get ready between 700 to 730, then at 730 we read together. But things like me beiing home alone in the evening, or any evening activites throws it all off!


post #4 of 33

Mine are usually in bed by 7.  We wait for Daddy to eat supper, so we eat sometime between 6 and 7. 


They play outside in the later afternoon, then come in and take baths around 5ish (if needed, and this time of year, they usually are).  After baths, they watch a 30 min TV show that is much looked forward to.  If daddy isn't home, they play some or color or whatever.  Then, we eat.  If there is time, they play with Daddy.  This is when I clean the kitchen.  Dh gets so little time with them that I'd rather he play with them than do chores. 

At 7, they head to bed for quick lights out. 

post #5 of 33



post #6 of 33

I have a 4 and 6 year old.  They get up with the sun, take no naps ... so I have to get them to sleep by 7.


We eat dinner at 4pm.  Then we do baths til 5/530Pm.  Between 5 and 6 we play, watch a video and have a snack.  Then at 6, I bring them to their room.  For the next hour, they play a bit, I read to them or we listen to audiotape in bed. By seven I turn off the lights, perhaps play a lullaby or two, or sing, and they are sound asleep.


I guess our unusual thing is having dinner so very early, as soon as my eldest gets off the school bus.  But she is ravenous. She's not a great eater so I want to take advantage of that appetite with a nutritous, hot meal rather than crackers to tide her over.  Then, we give the kids a little snack right before bed.


I love the routine.  Then I'm free early in the evening, have time to myself, and the kids get a great night sleep.

downside: they are up early.  but they wake up at dawn no matter what time they go to bed...

post #7 of 33

My youngest 3 are usually in bed, asleep by 6:30pm.  Dh gets home around 4:30-5pm and we eat dinner right around 5pm every night.  I am a SAHM so I'm usually able to get dinner ready earlier in the day.  After dinner the kids try to play quietly while we quickly clean up the kitchen.  We do pj's and brush teeth and then we read stories.  Baths rarely happen after dinner.  We only do baths 2-3x/week right now and I usually do them sometime during the day.  In the summer when they are outside more and getting dirtier we usually do baths right before dinner.  We also add a family walk into our after dinner routine once the nice spring/summer weather rolls around.  It's a bit rushed some nights and not exactly relaxing but the kids don't seem to be affected and fall asleep quickly.  We've tried later bedtimes but it doesn't work out, they still get up around 6am.  This way we have quiet evenings with our oldest ds and with each other.      

post #8 of 33

My 4 year old is in bed, usually asleep, by 7:30.


I start dinner at 5 and we eat as soon as it's done, which is always by 6 at the latest.  After dinner is some play time, then bath, and down to bed.  That gives us time to brush teeth and read a story before it's time for sleep.

post #9 of 33
All of my kids are asleep by 7. The youngest two (7 months and 2 1/2) are asleep at 6 or very soon after, sometimes even earlier. My oldest two (6 and almost 8) start to get ready for bed at 6 (brush teeth, get into PJs) and are in bed by 6:30. My middle child can go with the little ones or the big ones, depending on how tired he is and whether or not my husband is home. We are home by 3 or 3:30pm, and I start dinner then and we eat around 4. We do baths either right before or right after dinner (depending on how dirty the kids are) and we don't leave the house after dinner. The kids pick up the house while I clean up dinner, then we just hang out until bedtime. If my dh is home (rare) I take the little ones to bed just before 6 and he takes the boys to brush their teeth then reads to them until they're all asleep. If my dh is not home I take everyone to brush their teeth a little before 6, then take the youngest three to bed while the older 2 read in bed. I go in and they read to me for a while after the little ones are asleep. I really like our evening routine. It's nice and quiet and gives me some quiet time after the kids are asleep. My kids are very early risers no matter what time they go to bed, so the early bedtime is very important to us.
post #10 of 33

We eat between 5;30 and 6 with the goal of bedtime between 7 & 7:30 for our 5 yr olds.


After we eat, it is clean up, bath or playtime for 20/30 min, pjs , brush teeth, stories, bed-- they can read for a bit and then lights out. They wake up between 6:30 & 7.

post #11 of 33

This thread is inspiring!  I would love for DD to be in bed by 7 and asleep by 7:30!  Even by 8 would be wonderful!  Normally she isn't asleep til 9 or 930 and I'm just exhausted since she gets up by 730 each morning (and no naps anymore).


If we could somehow get dinner on the table by 5:30 daily it would work!  But that's the biggest struggle I think -- me being able to do that!

post #12 of 33
We have one DS, 17 months, and he's down around 7:30 every night. DH gets home from work around 5 and plays with him while we make dinner. We all eat together around 6:00, DH gives him a bath sometime between 6:30 and 7:00 then reads to him, and then I come in and nurse him and put him down. It works really well for us, and it's nice having time to relax together.
post #13 of 33

Our dd is 5yo.  We generally have dinner around 5:40 (as soon as dh gets home), then play board games together until 7pm.  Brush teeth, then dh reads to her until she falls asleep-- usually by 7:15-7:30.  She's an early riser (6-6:30am), and will either shower with me in the morning, or have a mid-day bath if needed (but we aren't set on her bathing every day unless she's grimy).  She used to stay up until 9:30 or so, and I have to say, i really love this change-- a little grown-up time in the evenings is a wonderful thing, plus she wakes up early regardless.  We do have to be careful to not have ANY outside time after dinner, because it winds her up for a solid hour extra.


post #14 of 33

Can I ask what time your kiddos wake up? (this is for everyone!) 

post #15 of 33

Mine get up at 7am.  Sometimes the baby sleeps until 7:45 or 8.

This is an improvement!!  My oldest woke at 5:30 every day until he dropped his daily nap right around age 4. 

post #16 of 33
Originally Posted by mommariffic View Post

Can I ask what time your kiddos wake up? (this is for everyone!) 

usually around 5am, though any time between 4 and 6 is normal. This is why we have such an early bedtime, they wake at this time no matter what time they go to bed.

post #17 of 33
Originally Posted by mommariffic View Post

Can I ask what time your kiddos wake up? (this is for everyone!) 

Weekdays, 6:30 or 7.  Weekends, they're always up by 7:30 at the latest.


post #18 of 33
Mine gets up somewhere between 6:45 and 7:30, most days. He was waking up before six for a while which was brutal, but he started sleeping later when he dropped his AM nap. So, he's in bed for around 12 hours, give or take.
post #19 of 33

I have two DS (ages 7 & 2) who are very early risers...DS1 up around 6, DS2 up by 5:30 (at the latest!).  DS2 is in bed, lights out, nursing by 7pm, DS1 is in bed reading to himself or being read to by DH by 7, usually lights out by 7:30.  We eat dinner around 5:30, then play (briefly! or they get too wound up), bath, teeth, stories & bed.  This is actually a pretty relaxed feeling schedule, with a nice long bath (both my boys love to be in the water), as long as we sit down to dinner at 5:30.  If dinner is later, then things start to feel rushed.  I think the key to early bedtime is either early dinner or bath before dinner.  NOTE:  In the summer, all this just naturally starts to slip later, with bedtime getting as late as 8.  Then, as the days get shorter & nights colder, the schedule slips earlier again. 

post #20 of 33

I think you have to bump up the dinner time, even if means eating in shifts. Dinner at 5, bath time at 5:30 play until 6/6:15/6:30, DH walks in the door, reads stories, and handles bedtime. Meanwhile, you take a break for a few minutes and either make the real dinner (that LO eats as leftovers the next day for dinner) or clean up the kitchen and the house.

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