Bedtime is sort of my favourite time of the day, when the children have their last mad burst of energy, they’re all clean (most days) and snuggly with pyjamas on. Once they’ve brushed their teeth and got into bed clothes its story time on the sofa in Charleys room, Bodhi on my lap and Charley snuggled up beside me.
I choose the first two books hoping they will keep Bodhi engaged for a bit, so something quite simple. They’re normally board books with either buttons to press or touchy feely books. He’s quite into nursery rhymes at the moment and he enjoys hearing these. At this age I was still breastfeeding Charley to sleep (it worked most nights so why not) so I think she got into nursery rhymes much later when I’d stopped feeding.
Once we’ve had these and Bodhi has had some milk in his cup, its time for Bodhi and Charley to say “night night” to each other. I enjoy encouraging this between them. Charley is always keen to give Bodhi a strangling hug but often Bodhi will put his head forward for a kiss from Charley which is lovely!
Then Bodhi has a cuddle in his room before I put him down in his cot. Mostly he will just cuddle his favourite teddies and doze off. Only occasionally do I have to go back in to comfort him. Not sure if this is down to luck or the fact that Charley has been more demanding at bedtime so he’s had to get on with it?! Maybe I shouldn’t have fed her to sleep until 18 months and she wouldn’t need someone to help her get to sleep?
Charley gets to choose one more story to have by herself sitting on my lap. This is a lovely time, especially when she’s at nursery as it’s the only time of the day when its just us.
We then have a cuddle and its time for her to get into bed. Then starts the “mummy, I need a wee”, “mummy, can you put my nightie on me,” “mummy, can you pull the duvet up”, “mummy, can I have some water”. All various things to string out bedtime! I can understand it, I was terrible at going to sleep for years myself, as my parents like to remind me.
I try and sit in her room for only 10 minutes, before I kiss her goodnight and go downstairs, which was working well before the summer holidays but now she’s a bit more unsettled. Some nights I have to go back up several times to put her to bed. She’s also more unsettled in the night, waking at least once a night but in a distressed state as well. Only the other week I thought we were doing well with them both sleeping through, I knew it was too good to be true. Do you ever get back to a good nights sleep when you have children????
These are our current bedtime favourites:
- Row, row, row your boat (with music) – “wo wo” as Bodhi says.
- There were ten in the bed
- Mog the forgetful cat
- You can’t take an elephant on the bus – brilliant