In homes with more than one child, parents can find it challenging to develop a workable family bedtime routine that meets the needs of all their children. As noted in our previous post, each child is unique and what works for one child in a family may not work for another child. Bedtime routines and approaches to kid sleep training may need to be tweaked slightly for each child to accommodate differences in their physical and mental energy levels. Boys and girls may need slightly different bedtime routines. And age differences can throw a real monkey wrench in parents’ efforts to establish a reliable bedtime routine that the whole family can live with.
The trick to creating a successful family routine is flexible consistency. Within the framework of a general sequence of bedtime activities that is consistently applied to all of their children, parents need to be flexible in making small adjustments to the routine to accommodate the special sleep needs of each individual child. Additional flexibility will be required to re-tweak your children’s bedtime routines as your children grow older and their sleep requirements change.
If parents are to enjoy any time to themselves in the evening, establishing a family bedtime routine that works for everyone and gets kids to sleep is a worthy goal. Next time we’ll show you how to do it.