When I’m sitting with friends, now all mums, one topic is guaranteed to be discussed every time: the bedtime issue. It seems to me that as different as children are, their sleeping habits are also different. The mothers, on the other hand, mostly agree. At least in the wish that all children go to bed quickly and quietly and sleep through there from 8 p.m. to 7 a.m. How and when the children are put into bed is very different >
Because my husband often has to work longer in the evenings, I often put the boys to bed alone. Something that many friends find fruitful, but I find it completely okay. On the contrary, mostly enjoy. I even have the feeling that it takes much longer if we do it in pairs because the children are constantly looking for niches to escape from the routine. So that bedding works, I do it every evening in the same way.
I cut out the television quite a while ago a week because I felt that everything was just about this one episode. Since then we have mostly played a round or two of memory or Uno (we eat usually relatively late), afterwards it is cleaned up if there is something to tidy up and then it goes to bed. With us it has worked out so that all three children go to bed relatively late (around eight), but all at the same time.
I nursed all my children to sleep during the first year and then offered them a milk bottle to fall asleep. So I prepare the little one his milk, which waits on the dresser until he is actually in bed. While the big ones take off and put on their pajamas, I wrap and put on the little ones. Sometimes I have to push the big ones three times, sometimes not once. One of my sons sometimes has little desire to put on and take off, so he has been given a sticker for a while if he can get it done quickly. For six stickers there is a small gift (a nice colored pencil or a bow sticker). Otherwise, the memory of the evening reading story, which turns out to be long or short depending on the time, also helps, so that they hurry in most cases.
Afterwards we meet in the bathroom, hands and face (and sometimes feet) and teeth are cleaned. The grown-ups initially do the cleaning alone (and thanks to the electric toothbrush they also like to do recently), and I do the cleaning again at the end. I grab the little one and clean it. Without ramtamtam. With my first son, I came up with new toothbrush songs and stories every week, which I sang and told each time I brushed my teeth. In the meantime, I have been acting quite simply: I hold onto it, put a toothbrush in it, clean it (ignore the roar), done. Teeth have to be brushed, there is no discussion. In the case of my two grown-ups, the grumbling stopped at some point on its own, and I hope for the third one too. When we go back to the children’s bedroom afterwards, I try to create a calm atmosphere. In other words, I speak more quietly and remind the adults to do the same.
Now is story time – something that the children AND I absolutely love. That is also my moment in which I cuddle into the small children’s beds, stretch out my feet, take a deep breath, leave everyday life behind me. I love to feel adorable little shoulders, legs and arms everywhere and to soak up the wonderful scent of children’s hair. We start with a short story for the little ones every night, sometimes Listen the big ones, sometimes looking for their story on the bookshelf in the hallway. Then I lay the little one down, say good night, sing him a song and give him his milk bottle. In the vast majority of cases, he simply sucks himself to sleep. I imagine it being incredibly cozy to lie there in the cozy cot and to be able to listen to the quiet murmur of stories of the grown-ups when I fall asleep.
Of course, at the beginning I was worried about the milk after brushing my teeth. It was my dentist of all people who reassured me. "Be glad you found something to get your child to bed quickly and easily," he said. And: "As long as teeth are brushed in the morning and evening, that’s no problem." What a gift for my unsettled mom-me!
While the little one falls asleep, I read their stories with the big ones. Sometimes everyone in his bed (the other usually snuggles up to the foot of the bed), sometimes two chapters from a book for both in one bed (one on the left, one on the right). Most of the time, the middle one falls asleep towards the end of the story, so that I have a moment alone with the big one. I like to ask him what was the best thing about that day (and if there was anything stupid). A wonderful opportunity to talk to him briefly. Then I give everyone a kiss, turn off the big light and turn on the night light and go. From now on, the children stay in bed. This is where adult life begins, which is very important to me (us) and is clearly enforced.
I have the feeling that the children feel how important it is to us (and necessary, since we both still often in the evening work) and accept this rule well. Of course, a child has already got up and come downstairs. However, we always brought it up again every time, so we are very consistent. Very rarely does one of the children call us again, claiming that they cannot fall asleep. Then I bring a couple of pixie books that can exceptionally still be viewed under the covers with a Tachen lamp. In absolute exceptions, for example, when the children fell asleep again in the late afternoon on a long car ride, I also turned on a radio play.
As routine and timely as it is to go to bed with us during the week, we see it as relaxed at the weekend or on vacation. Then there are almost no rules – which we and the children also enjoy very much.
The wonderfully classic Vichy pajamas that my boys wear in these photos are from the cute Hamburg label Le Petit Beurre. They remind me so wonderfully of my au pair stay in London many years ago, where my guest children (and all children felt) only wore classic pajamas and spoke of their "Pi-Jais" in the most adorable British children’s language. By the way, we now also have a normal expression for pajamas. The pajamas by Petit Beurre are made of wonderfully firm summer cotton and with high quality details. And: Especially in the sale! Many thanks to Le Petit Beurre for this wonderful gift. We love the PJs very much.
A wonderful weekend to you (maybe even in pajamas?),
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