Bedtime routine with multiple children - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 8 Old 12-30-2009, 01:07 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Bedtime around here has been *crazy*. Before all 3 of my oldest dc shared one room and were younger, so it was fairly easy. Now my oldest will be 9 in a week, the youngest just turned 2 and bedtime is not going well.

My 2yo I am not so much worried about. She co-sleeps with me and is on my schedule. My my 9 yo is a night owl, my 8 yo ds now has his own room, and my 5 yo is an early bird. So my 9yo can not stay up and read because it keeps my sensitive 5 yo up but I really need a break at night where the three oldest are settled and doing their own thing.

I tried doing 30 mins of bedtime stuff each for the three of them so they would be staggered: 7:30, 8, 8:30 pm, but it turned into 2+ hours of bedtime routine: baths, teeth brushing, stories, tuck in. Even starting early, I would be going from 4-9 pm with dinner and bedtimes without a single moment of break. So I have tried the same bedtime and they just bicker and pull for attention and two get mad that they don't want to go to bed early while one is tired all the next day if she's up past 8 pm.

I've considered letting my 9 yo stay up until 9 and put herself to sleep and getting the other two down at 7pm and 8pm, but I really like to sit down uninterrupted after 8 pm and just knit or read or watch LOST (not totally waldorf, I know ) or spend time with dh.

So what does everyone else here do with multiple different aged children? HOW do you do it? How can I turn around this chaos?

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#2 of 8 Old 12-30-2009, 01:35 PM
 
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My 3, 4, and 5 yo go to bed at 7pm. ( Well we still co sleep with out 4 yo, but she is in our bed at that time)

Our 7 yo goes at 7:30 and our 8 and 9 yo get ready for bed at that time.

8 yo is in his bed at 8pm, but can read or play legos quietly. ( He does take meds to sleep so he needs to be on his bed, but they take awhile to kick in so he needs to be able to do something on his bed)

9 yo is a night owl, and sometimes stays up late with our 15 yo ds playing a game or something.

The rule is at our house for our night owl kids, that you can do something QUIETLY and put yourself to bed BUT after 8 pm, if there is not a fire or you require more then a bandaid you cannot distrurb Daddy and Mommy

*~Kelly~*
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#3 of 8 Old 12-30-2009, 01:55 PM
 
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I gave up trying to do a staggered bedtime. Our elementary goes early, so all the elems. have bedtime at 8 pm. They all just get ready and get tucked in in order of who is the craziest tired. It is hardest on the days we have activities that don't even get us HOME until 8:15or 8:30 but we do our best. No, the activities can't go. Our mser goes to bed around 9:15 and shares with our 9 yo. I have the older one get all ready, like pj's etc. early, then go finish homework/music practice etc. Our house isn't huge but it is easy to spread out from each other in.

Also, I have just found that with 4 or 5 kids, bedtime routines take an hour. Without a doubt. So if you want to sit down at 8 or 8:30, expect to start at 7 pm or 7:30 pm. Hard for us--we succeed at having dinner at 6:45 or 7 pm a lot of nights. I know earlier would be better, but do our best. It will never be earlier.
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#4 of 8 Old 12-30-2009, 06:35 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you both! Glad to hear I'm not the only one out there. So often I see bedtime routines but they seem to only qualify for 1-2 kids that are really young.

We eat dinner at 5 pm every night-my dh is diabetic, so that is set. So bedtime routine often starts at 6pm and doesn't end until 9!

We don't have to wake up as we homeschool, so getting to bed really early isn't that big a deal, but I like rhythm and having a set time to myself to unwind.

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#5 of 8 Old 12-30-2009, 09:06 PM
 
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I have 4 kids and our bedtime goes like this...

at 7ish, everybody goes upstairs and gets ready for bed. Then dh reads to the 3 biggest kids (2.5, 5, and 8) in our bed. While he is reading to them I am nursing the baby to sleep, usually here at the computer After he reads to them, the 5yo and 8yo go to their beds and he tucks them each in. Sometimes the 8yo reads to himself for a little while before he falls asleep. The 2.5yo is more trouble If he hasn't had a nap, or only a very short one, he will usually fall asleep while dh is reading to the older kids. If not, dh tucks him in to his little bed, which is in our room, and dh sits next to his bed until he falls asleep.

Chrissy, lucky mama to Noah (9), Lilah (6), Rowan (3) and Laney (1).
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#6 of 8 Old 01-04-2010, 06:23 PM
 
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We have 4 kids. We start around 6:30 and don't end until 8pm.

Some nights they all get individual stories (well not my 10yo-she reads to herself-sometimes I'll go in and play a game with her and then tuck her in). Other nights, Daddy reads to all of them together or apart.

How about a booklight for your 9yo?

Consciously mothering 3 girls and 2 boys
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#7 of 8 Old 01-04-2010, 07:56 PM - Thread Starter
 
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They have booklights. Problem is they go through one a week from breaking/running out of batteries, etc. They each have a bed light (girls have bunk beds), but my 5 yo needs total dark to sleep.

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#8 of 8 Old 01-11-2010, 02:22 AM
 
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I have 4 kids as well - 9, 6, 3 3/4 and 3 3/4. Around 6:30 we have them get ready for bed and clean up toys, etc. Then we all pile onto my twin boy's bed (full size). I sit between the boys at the head of the bed w/a pillow behind my back with a boy on each side. The girls (6 & 9) sit at the end of the bed. Each child picks a story to be read - the younger two pick little kid books and my eldest usually has a chapter book for me to read for her and my other dd. I read the short stories first while snuggling the younger two and then move on to the chapter book. My twins are typically asleep by the time I finish one chapter so then my girls go off to their room (where they *could* read more if that was needed but for my kids it isn't) and I sneak out of my boy's room. Works pretty well for us.

Mama to four remarkable kiddos, all born at home.
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