I would love to hear others share their evening/bedtime rhythm that they have used that would be appropriate for a 13 month old. I've been reading "You are Your Child's First Teacher" and it is giving me new motivation to add to and improve on our routine. I'm especially interested in doing two things: (1) moving bedtime earlier; and (2) beginning to quiet things down to progress to bed. Any ideas on how you do this would be appreciated.
Currently, we have dinner together, followed usually by cleanup and playtime. Depending on the hour and how we are feeling, we might play longer, or maybe just a few minutes. The evening generally runs like this:
Daughter plays while parents clean up
More playtime while we get things organized for next day
Bathtime with mom
Dad gets daughter dressed for bed, playtime while mom showers and readies for bed
Light candle in bedroom
Tuck babydolls in bed and kiss them good night
Go to bedroom, sing song, blow out candle
Goodnight kisses then nurse to sleep.
Specifally, any ideas on what I can do with a 13 month old in a candle lit room to hold her attention? I feel like this is a part of the evening that could be lovely if we lengthened it.
Also, any ideas for quiet things for dad to do with her as they ready for bed? He tends to be very active in his play with her, which isn't always ideal at bedtime.
I'm by no means an expert in rhythm (we are still figuring things out at 2.5yrs and I expect we will constantly make changes), but yours sounds lovely. We always read one story before bed (one story rule so there's no question how many we will read)...DS has a choice between 2 sleep-inducing books with nice reading rhythm (these change from time to time, but he does like to read the same one over and over). The reading really lulls us all to sleep--it's very funny, some of the characters in the book we are reading now yawn, and then all three of us yawn at the same time right after reading! Story would be great to do by candlelight and/or for Dad to do while mom is getting ready. Maybe you could do two stories--one that Dad reads while you get ready and one that mom reads?
Because DS is a bit older, we allow him to play for a bit before bed. Often we'll have hot tea or warm milk w/honey (and small snack if DS did not eat a great dinner) before heading upstairs for toothbrushing, pjs, etc.
Hope this helps!
This is an area we need to work on, but for a couple of suggestions to start:
To calm down after the bath (try lavendar bath milk for a nice evening ritual) why doesn’t Dad take your daughter into her bedroom with dimmed lights (a little lamp) and do a nice massage with Calendula oil or any before getting her dressed for bed – could sing a calming song. You probably need to have a chat about winding up and winding down – and the importance of winding down before bed.
You could light the candle during the massage but I think it’s nice to just have it lit during prayer – I don’t think it needs to be a long time. My little one gets excited by the candle and just wants to grab it, so we keep it short! Perhaps tuck dollies to bed by light of candle – in her room?
We do: bath before dinner, dinner, dad takes boys to bathroom (teeth), quiet story (dimmed lights, we do the boys separately) song, then good night kisses and bed. Little one settles on own and one of us lies down with big one for a few minutes, talk quietly about the day and what's to come tomorrow.
The following, however, is the ideal rhythm for us, so it's time to put some thought back into changing again:
Dinner, clear table together, bath and teeth (one parent washes up); Dimmed lights - dress boys, quiet massage for little one; storybook together, candle in little one's room with prayer, little one put to bed with a song. Big one goes to bed and has another story (a bit from his chapter book or made up). Then lights out, song, kisses, good night.
Thanks for making me think about this! hope there's some help in there for you.
I have rethunk our night time rhythm (we have a 15 month old and a 5 year old boy). Might try the following:
5.30 pm Dinner
Clear the table all together; make sure toys are tidy
6.00 pm Dad baths boys; mum washes up
Dad dresses boys in little one’s room and gives little one massage – dimmed lights
6.30 pm Story for both boys.
Mum comes in and lights candle; prayer in little one’s room all together
Big boy goes to his room and has story time – made up or chapter book
Little one has lullabies and candle then bed and good night.
6.45 pm Candle goes out to big boy’s room and is re-lit for another prayer after story. One parent kisses big boy good night and blows out candle.
Other parent is on chat duty (go through the day, think about day to come), then lullaby and
7.00 pm kiss good night.
I cut and pasted this off my waldorf-inspired blog because I know I am not allowed to link to my blog on this forum. A reader asked me how what bedtime routine we had to help settle the girls off to sleep. I thought it might help because teh girls have a really early bedtime. So here it is:
we have a very set bedtime routine that helps the children settle to sleep. They have quite an early bedtime. We have a family dinner between 5pm and 5.30 pm which candlelight which they find relaxing. Then it is straight into bathtime/bedtime routine. My husband will go upstairs and start running the bath so they can hear the water being run and they can smell the lavender bubbles. We find this is a great way to make them 'want' to go upstairs rather then having to say 'go upstairs, it's bathtime.' I also sing 'Upstairs to fairyland, mind how you go, hold on to mummy's hand, walk on tip-toe, get your tickets ready to pass through the nursery gate, quiet as a mouse, then you'll be in fairyland, at the top of the house.' (From 'The Singing Day' which has a CD, the tune to this is very, very pretty) My husband takes over from here. They will both get bathed together, he will chat to them, or put things away from the tidy up basket because it is the end of the day. Always keeping the children in sight of course. They takes in turns each night about who is going to get out first to try and keep things as peaceful as possile between the two girls! My husband will have their bedtime clothes next to the towel heater so they are warm ready for them. After they are dry and dressed, it is into K's bedroom (my 5 year old) for story time on her bed.It is about 6 pm now. In winter time a candle will be lit. They both get to choose a story. After that it is down off the bed and into little L's room singing 'Oh dream fairies come to us, Oh dreams fairies stay with us, hear the dream fairies come, bringing dreams to you, sprinkle, sprinkle, sprinkle.' K will kiss L and her teddy, then daddy will, then I will. Then lights out and door closed. Same thing for K, but she has her light left on she she can read until about 6.30 pm- 6.45 pm depending on how tired she is. I will go upstairs again, for one last cuddle and kiss and turn out K's light and turn on her gro-clock. They both get out of bed at 7 am next morning. It is very much a routine where very little changes which helps with the transitions I think as they know what to expect. Hope that helps. Ask anything you need to!
Here is the 'Oh dream fairies' song which I found on You Tube:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I7b7tdyVGnU&feature=related
It is the goodnight verse at the very end of the video.
This is the gro-clock that K adores!
dinner 5-5:30 till 6ish
mama cleans up/dd helps or plays quietly
6:50 eat a snack before bed with daddy while mama gets room/pjs ready (she needs a snack or has trouble staying asleep, she has a hard time eating supper)
7:00 2 stories with just the closet light on and then lights out and we sing a song and then I leave and she falls asleep hugging her mama made waldorf doll
Canadian Mama to E 2yrs
Someone new coming October!