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Sunday, February 14, 2010

Bath & bedtime for the kids!

Years ago I read Simplify Your Life with Kids by Elaine St. James. It had tons of tips on ways to make life simpler, and cut down on the amount of work we do that robs us of our most precious commodity. Time! Establishing a regular bed and bathtime routine for the kids made a big improvement in how we end our days!

Establish a Regular Bath Routine:

Arrange your schedule so bathtime is consistant, and falls right before or after dinner (depending on what schedule you keep) The kids will recognize that routine and just know that when it is time, it is time!

Don't feel you have to bathe the kids every.single.night. Every other night is acceptable for some families depending on their schedule/daily activity.

Have a small supply of bath toys to make it more fun. Teach the child that these toys must be put away after every bath. This routine will save you cleaning time, and the toys will last longer if properly stored instead of left in water to grow mold!

Have the kids get intoa routine of brushing their teeth as part of the bathtime routine. Before or after doesn't matter (unless bath is before dinner, of course)

Keep extra toothbrushes downstairs if it makes brushing teeth after dinner an easier task.

Teach your child to put their dirty laundry in the hamper, put their shoes away, and to be accountable for any other items that are involved in getting to the bathtime routine.

Make bathtime a ritual that you and the kids look forward to. It wont be long before you are not a part of that ritual, and then your kids will have proper hygiene and know how to properly groom themselves.

Establish a Simple Bedtime Routine:

Set reasonable bedtimes for your children.

Avoid roughhousing, sibling intereference, unsettling tv programs, & family squabbles around bedtime.

Be consistant and stick to the decided timeslines for lights out, tv off, etc..

Set phone curfews for older children

Be sure bedtimes are realistic. If you are rushed to meet the bedtime, set it back 15 minutes and see how that time works for your family.

Aftr spending time with your child, and had your snuggles, hugs, kisses, story time, etc. say your good nights, turn the lights out, and quietly leave the room. If the child gets out of bed calmy walk them back to his/her bed, say goodnight again.

If your child is a night owl and simply will not go to sleep at a set time you can enforce a time for them to be in bed where they can play quietly with a night light on until they fall asleep.

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