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Sleep. Most of us love it. However, if you have kids, you know the struggle is real. They should love it. But they don’t know that yet, so they tend to fight it tooth and nail.

At times, you would really think it was pure torture inflicted upon them.

To add insult to injury, I decided it was time to start preparing for new baby’s arrival in April and change up our bedtime routine. Yep. You read that right. Not only was it already the dreaded bedtime, but now I was throwing change into the mix.

I was a little worried how this may go.

Thankfully, I have been pleasantly surprised with the results.

Prior to now, I would lay in my son’s bed with my daughter on the other side and we would read a book, chat, and they would go to sleep. Once I knew lights were out completely, I would move my daughter to her bed and go in and make sure my son was tucked in well.

A little backstory: my son woke up every two hours from the time he was born until he was 4. Once he turned 4, so long as I laid with him he would sleep through the night. That worked for me.

Fast forward 3 years and baby #3 coming soon was going to throw a wrench in those plans. So, we got him a TV and we started the transition by watching Bob Ross after our book for relaxing time (my son’s very much like me and I needed noise that was not music to fall asleep to when I was younger). This worked like a charm.

My daughter has known nothing other than going to brother’s bed to start bedtime. So, that’s been another issue altogether. We got her this new bed to turn hers back into the crib, which has proved helpful. Daddy built her some stairs with her name on them and she is beginning to go climb in, grab a book, and wait sometimes patiently while I grab a chair to sit beside the bed and read to her.

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Bedtime Stairs

How it Went Down

The first night, there were tears for probably 40-45 minutes. “But mom, you’re supposed to lay with me.” “I don’t hardly see you at all now.” And many other statements that stabbed the guilt right into me.

The second night was better, but the tears happened at dinner time instead as they were fully anticipating the horror that was bedtime. And that night my son woke up at 3 am for a hug, my daughter woke up at 4, and my husband’s alarm (which goes off for a good half an hour usually by the time the millions of snoozes happen) started at 4:30. I had a long day that day.

The third day… success! My son ASKED if it was time to go to bed, got everything all set up and only called me in a couple of times for a hug, love, and tuck in. My daughter who used to wake up religiously between 12-2am from the time she was born now sleeps until 3-6 (I woke up and had to check on her once). I cannot tell you how much a relief it has been to know that what I thought was going to be a horrific week or two has morphed into a wonderful new bedtime routine where they’re even asleep much quicker than before makes me want to shed tears of joy.

My top tips to assist you in altering bedtime:

  1. Consistency — keep at it. They’re stubborn, but you’ve got to outlast them.
  2. Tough-skin — some remarks and cries will tear at your heartstrings, but you’ve got this!
  3. Belief — it will get better and won’t last forever. Then you can sit peacefully and bask in the glory of your accomplishment!

So, fellow bedtime routiners (yep, I just made that up), I wish you the best of luck if you are deciding to change it up a bit and I offer much love and support! Whatever works for you, I hope it goes as smoothly as our transition has. Feel free to share with me any of your own stories, comments, or questions as well! Happy sleep-seeking.

New Bedtime Routine: Battle Royale