“Mommy, I wanna eat”. That’s the excuse my lil’ one uses every evening as she realizes it’s time for bed. Of course, she knows I would never refuse to give her food – she plays on my weak spot, the one thing I could never say no to – i mean, what if she IS hungry? As expected, I give her something to eat and she doesn’t want to, it’s just a play for more time – 10 more minutes to run around, talk, sing, and whatever else she could muster up before her least favorite time of day.
So, we march up to the bedroom and try to finish up our bedtime routine – we brush our teeth, collect our pacifiers, carry our water bottle and then tell the story of Goldilocks and the Three Bears, the names of the bears have of course been changed to mirror her, her parents, her friends – oh, and they’ve now become more like five bears. And then, we reach my least favorite time of day – I HAVE to stay next to her in bed until she falls asleep – a process which could last up to one hour. One I have come to overcome and maybe even look forward to after the arrival of my Kindle, it’s become the one time I can actually read in peace.
We all know establishing a bedtime routine is essential with toddlers. We’ve all read the articles, the literature, the books. We’ve all heard it from other mothers and tried to learn from their experience. My mistake was not establishing this routine from an early age – now, when I’ve realized how important it is, it’s become very difficult to change my lil’ girl’s “routine”. I’ve started trying – making sure she takes her bath at a certain time, has dinner before/after, etc but it’s almost fruitless.
So – to all first time mothers whose babies are still – well, babies – please, learn from my experience! It IS important to establish that routine, make sure they sleep at the same time everyday, alone, in their bed – and turn bedtime into a time that they look forward to.There’s a lot you can do – listen to quiet music, have a chat, tell a story, and so on. I’m still working on it, hoping that it will catch. Wish me luck!
Enjoy your day mommies – and drive safe!