This is the first week in a 3-week series on parenting observations. Week one is based on gentle parenting, week two is about parenting with compassion, and week three is about parenting with a disability.
These posts are based on my personal experiences as a parent and are not meant in any way to judge other parenting styles or decisions. I am offering my personal research and conclusions as possible suggestions for others out there, therefore these posts will be as objective as possible. When it comes to parenting: provided the method isn’t abusive, there really isn’t a wrong way to parent your child. Be secure and do what works best for you and your family and ignore outside judgement.
A few days ago, I was in a text conversation with some other mothers about bedtime. What was bedtime like? How young is too young to start a routine? Why should I start a routine?
Scrolling through the conversation, there were a lot of great tips and insights shared surrounding the nature of each child’s bedtime routine and when they started having one. A common thread in the discussion: the adaptability and consistency to each routine made for an easier transition from waking to sleep.
As I was explaining Jai’s routine, I realized how important it was to his overall happiness and demeanor. I don’t pay attention to my own bedtime routine or even give myself a quality one to begin with, but Ash and I make sure that we are consistent with Jai to help him fall asleep with minimal fuss. When Jai wakes up in the morning he is chipper, refreshed, and ready to start the day.
By incorporating some gentle parenting techniques, it will create a calm atmosphere filled with mutual respect and listening by both parent and child to minimize stress and frustration by both parties.
This isn’t meant as the correct way of doing things, but merely information I’ve compiled from my own research and experience. It will hopefully provide some suggestions or ideas to build off for your own parenting experiences.
If you are dropping into this post from elsewhere, click here for more information about gentle parenting.
Creating a Consistent Bedtime Routine
There are two important aspects to the bedtime routine: the time in which the child goes to bed and the process that gets them there. Unfortunately, life gets busy and maintaining a consistent bedtime isn’t always realistic. You get home late from work, there’s a late dinner date with some friends, or time just slips by: all of these are reasons why it can be hard to maintain a consistent bedtime.
There is a lot of back and forth out there about whether there should be a consistent bedtime, and like with everything else, only you know when it is best to put your little one to bed.
There are ways to maintain a consistent routine despite changing bedtimes from day-to-day. Make sure that you have a routine that is the same every night no matter what time you start the process. What will help is if you have two similar routines that differ in length depending on how much time you can take putting the little one to bed. Jump down to “Our Personal Routine” for more information.
What does bedtime have to do with gentle parenting?