Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Toddler Bedtimes

Last week we hit a frustration point involving a 3 year old boy and his bedtime routine.  We have an established bedtime routine but we were finding ourselves at wits end with his putting his foot down (literally) and refusing to take baths or get ready for bed.  Deciding we weren't going to continue down this path every night I did a little research and came up with this:

A laminated pictorial version of our bedtime schedule.  We gave a set start time of 7:00 PM (this gets the little one in bed by 7:30 and the 3 year old in bed by 8:00).  We put in some items that allow Clark to feel he is part of the decision making process.  We also put warnings back in play (we had done this earlier and relaxed our standards - not good).

So, 5 minute warning that bed time routine is coming; 5 minutes to pick up toys (and beat the timer); take off clothes; bath (only 3 times a week for Clark); brush teeth; potty; put on jammies and secure teddies; then Grant gets his book time while Clark gets time for himself (could be a little extra playtime, a little TV, talking over his day, etc); prayers, hugs & kisses; reading time with Clark; bed.

I didn't think this little change would make a difference (in essence it's the same routine just put in a visual form) - but, the last 3 nights we have had NO arguments!  When things seem they might be going downhill we tell Clark to show us where we are on the bedtime chart that hangs in the hallway outside the bathroom and between the bedrooms - and then we're good to go again!  In fact, he has gone from not wanting to do bath time to jumping right in.

I think a lot of this has to do with cabin fever, too.  Not being able to exercise outside isn't doing any of us any good.

Sorry - this may seem a weird post but I wanted to document when we started this so when I have to figure out a new plan I'll know about how long we can go before we need to switch things up again :)

Ah - cute little kiddos!

I found a fun photo editing site today - Picnik - it was lots of fun working on some photos.  Suddenly, my house is very quiet so I better go check it out!  Thanks for stopping by!

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