No joke, instituting a rather strict bedtime routine has been like MAGIC.
All those nights when I knew Christian was exhausted we just couldn’t get him to tip over into slumberland – are in the past. Christian is often EAGER for bedtime now, and frequently shoos his daddy out of the room, so we can get going with our “candle bright” as Christian calls it.
It’s going on three weeks and now I’m eye-ing other troublesome spots in our day, and even our week, that might benefit from the addition of more thought and routine.
Although I don’t really keep track of the time, except as a general starting point, I am listing times here, so you can see about how much time everything takes. We start no later than 8 pm. I’m two ways about getting Christian to bed any earlier, because he only ever sleeps for 10 hours at night with a good nap every afternoon. If he’s asleep by nine, then we get up together about 7 am.
The whole routine is intended to wind down the day and to foster a sense of calm peacefulness before going to sleep.
7 pm Dinner (we sit and eat all together at the table – I don’t say a blessing, I merely say “bon appètit” before we dig in)
7:30 pm Chad does the dishes. Baby likes to help. (I finish my dinner!) Then there’s usually a bit of playing on the living room floor between Daddy and Baby. I slip into the shower myself.
8 pm Chad and Baby shower together.
8:15 Pyjamas (his t-shirt for the next day) and diaper (cloth without a cover). We sing “Where is Ti-ti? Where is Ti-ti? There he is! There he is!” while getting dressed if he is resistant.
8:20 Teeth Brushing (“Brush, brush, brush your teeth! Brush them everyday! First you brush the top, then you brush the bottom. Keeps the cavities away” to the tune of “Row, Row Your Boat”.) If Baby resists, Chad pins him down to the bed to brush the teeth properly. Christian thinks it’s funny and I figure the physical “force” now is better than anesthesia for filling a cavity later.)
8:25 Goodnight kiss to Daddy. Prepare the bed. Christian sleeps on a lambskin between me and a king-size pillow on the side of the bed. He naps on the same lambskin.
8:30 Light the beeswax story candle on my dresser singing “Candle light! Candle bright! Shine your glowing candle light!” Christian blows out the match, and I carry him and the burnt match to the sink to wet it before throwing it away. If I miss ANY of this, Christian prompts me. I even have to put the box of matches in the same place each evening.
8:32 A calm sweet read-aloud story. Like Mother’s Lap or I am a Bunny.
8:35 Christian is carried to the candle and blows it out while I sing “Candle light, Candle bright, Thank you for your shining light.”
8:37 Christian turns off the bedroom lights while I sing, “The sun has gone to bed and so must I. Doot-doot-a doot-doot doot doot-doot -dooo.”
8:38 Christian nurses while I tell him a story: Once upon a time, not too far away, and not too long ago, there lived a little boy named Ti-ti who loved adventure. One day… [insert activities of the day told in simple, pleasant detail]… and if things haven’t changed, they are still the same today.”
Then I sing,
“All is silent in the forest, as through the night.
A night owl is winging her way through the air.
And the moon her watch is keeping, as through the trees,
That stand in the forest, as sentinels there.”
8:45 Christian is snoring and I ease myself out of the bed to watch very un-Waldorf movies with my husband until about 10 or 10:30 pm.
I’d like to sing a nicer song for turning off the light. I like this one, but haven’t learned it all yet. I’m just making up a tune for it.
“Now the day is over,
Night is drawing nigh,
Shadows of the evening,
Steal across the sky.
Now the darkness gathers,
Stars begin to peep.
Birds and beasts and flowers
Soon will be asleep.”
Also, instead of telling Christian a story about himself, I like the idea Devana suggests of telling a story from my own youth.