How to start the bedtime routine? Is it necessary for a peaceful family life or can we improvise?
Here is Elena’s experience with her three children
Once a baby is born, everyone will start asking how they’re sleeping and giving their input and advice. Who in the parent bed until the age of majority, who in his own bedroom all night spun immediately.
The sleep / wake rhythm of a small child is very different from us adults and as parents we are faced with the dilemma of which approach to follow.
How to get a baby to fall asleep at the same time every night?
What was clear was that I would need to set up a bedtime routine. But what is this bedtime routine and why is a bedtime routine important for a child?
At the beginning we found ourselves with lot of difficulties. Children can be unpredictable, everything changed from day to day and we struggled to find “our” rhythm.
After all, I was never an organized person, and the idea of having rigid schedules gave me a certain feeling of oppression.
Perhaps also for this reason, as soon as it was possible, I chose a low cot for my children.
Knowing that, despite being very small, they still had the opportunity to self-manage as much as possible, reassured me. This meant that wherever we are (with or without our favourite cot), the children would feel comfortable and at home with the simplicity of a mattress instead of a camping crib.
Tips to establish a bedtime routine
For us, we found our routine in the little things. It was not a linear process nor was everything perfect, but gradually the routine was built from the little things. With a song sung every night, little words whispered in their ear and the warm feeling from an old stuffed animal to hug. In fact, setting up a bedtime routine helped us to establish how to satisfy everyone’s needs.
Maria Grazia Honegger Fresco, last disciple of Maria Montessori, who recently passed away, teaches us why having a bedtime routine is important and highlights the need to keep our evening rituals and routines the same.
We learned this from the book ‘Facciamo la nanna!’ which helped us a lot!..sorry I can’t find a translation in english.
Children need safety, a comfortable place where they can go in the evening. A place for the soul more than anything else, where you can find order and peace at the end of each day. Whether used fun or relaxing, for a small child it will always be a source of learning. A type of learning that can sometimes seem silent but will always be tumultuous inside.* please do not confuse it with “Go to sleep!” by Eduard Estivill, widely disputed and unsupported scientifically.
Finding the serenity to fall asleep
Some have found their routine in the bath, massage, bed sequence, reading the same book before bed, for others still have a favorite song or story repeated equally every night.
Certainly the environment is crucial, with a soft light, the hand of a guardian, a prepared and dedicated space helps a lot to let yourself go to sleep.Organizing the bedroom is important, so that there is space for everything and is designed for children.
Our family experience was to associate a song for each of my children and a lullaby that my grandmother sang to me which concludes our routines and allows for a moment with all three.
Even now that they have grown up a little, they find comfort in it and continue to sing it in the moments when they are most restless. Have you found your bedtime routine?
What is your lullaby or favorite book for your own bedtime routine? you can read our tip on the blog!