blank'/> A LITTLE BIT OF LACQUER: Bedtime Routine

December 27, 2017

Bedtime Routine

I'll start this post by saying one thing - there are routine people, and then there are people who, let's just say aren't huge fans. I actually fall into the category of "not a huge fan." Every family does what works for them though, and that is all that matters! When we first had Liv, I fell into the trap of thinking I had to have a solid bedtime routine to actually get a child to sleep, and that if we strayed from this we would be horrible parents, screw up her development, or at the very least just get crappy sleep. Thankfully it didn't take long to realize she usually slept however she wanted with or without the full routine - so we for the most part tossed it out the window. 

But now with three we have something like a routine going on, and it's working for us, so I'll share that today (got a ton of questions after sharing their shared bedroom on the blog so wanted to help out)! I'll also say we never did sleep training or cry it out or anything else that required reading a book. 

We actually only do bath time/showers every other night at most, (it's more like twice a week most weeks) but if it is a night that the girls are still wired up closer to bedtime, we absolutely do baths/showers. Since our 2 bathroom condo only has showers we had to get a little creative - Livi almost always showers - she loves singing in the shower! Elli sometimes will shower with Livi, but more often her and Ro get a bath together. We searched a long time for the right fold up tub, and I then I realized we had an unused Sterilite container under our bed so I tried it out while deciding on a tub - let's just say that almost 5 months later we still use it and it is perfect. 

After bath time and getting jammies on, I nurse Ro - some nights because of when I last pumped I give her a bottle of breastmilk or formula instead (helpful too when Nathan can feed her and help out with bedtime)! She usually gets pretty sleepy while drinking, when she's done I put her down in her crib and falls asleep. 

I get asked a lot about the girls' sleeping arrangements - they all share the same room. Ro stayed in our room in a bassinet until just over 6 months, then we moved her with her sisters. They do great in the room together with a staggered bedtime. They're all pretty heavy sleepers so it's rare that if one wakes up crying in the middle of the night they wake up any of their sisters. We didn't know that it would work out but you never know until you try it! This is really key with kids - the idea might sound scary or you might be worried that it would never work, but honestly our fear holds us back from things working out more than anything! Just try it! Anyway...

If Nathan's home he gets solo time with the girls while I'm getting Ro to sleep - he isn't always though, and those days I can usually still get Ro down in the playroom with the other 2 playing - they just have to respect that it's "quiet time" and Ro has to go night-night. And believe me - it doesn't come without having to threaten that they'll go to sleep now too if they don't play quietly! 

Once Ro is down, I spend a few minutes with Elli, and after it's time to get her down. She climbs right into her bottom bunk (it's literally just a mattress on the floor under a loft bed, it's not an actual bunk bed) - but perfect height for her to climb right in and lay down. She gets her back patted for a few minutes but then can usually fall asleep on her own. 

Finally Liv. She's the big girl, so we spend some extra one-on-one time either reading or drawing or watching a show. Livi is probably the easiest to get down - she knows when she's tired and usually will say "mommy can I rest my eyes now" or just "ok time for bed." Sometimes I do have to force the issue though, and then the line "ok, you get to pick one toy to bring to bed, what are you bringing?" works well - she gets her toy and we get her into bed. We tuck her in and give her a kiss and she'll go to sleep on her own. 

Liv as a baby was the hardest to get down - from 0-4 months we walked around for what felt like hours trying to get her to bed after an elaborate routine. And then we scratched that and from 4-18 months co-slept. And then we got her in own bed and sleeping on her own (it happened really easily actually) and now she is the best sleeper of them all. I share this because, again, we place a lot on initial sleep routines and schedules, worried we're going to screw them up, but it's really not that big of a deal! 

Usually Ro is down by 8, Elli is down by 8:30, and Liv by 9. Again - nothing in our house is set in stone, but most weeknights that's how the timing works. I hope this post could be a little helpful to some of you, at least to just show you how one mom of 3 makes it work for her family! 


  1. Thanks for sharing Laura! And l have to agree, the “routine” is different for every family. My first; a bath, dimmed lights, milk and cuddles would have her set for 30 minutes, but then was ready to party if we were at our military friend’s house. Her going to bed with milk only worked in her own comfortable space. Since she started pre-k, she doesn’t fight sleep anymore. Our second; he was a bedtime champ until he was about 2. He doesn’t like to sleep alone now and we feel when we let him share room with his new little brother coming, he’ll be more settled to sleep again.

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