Bedtime Routines & Rituals

Right at the start of parenting, you hear and read so much about how important routines are for little ones; so much, it’s actually quite daunting. For a while I actually felt I was failing when it came to the ‘routines’ part of parenting. Needless to say, for the past five years, I have struggled quite a lot with any sort of routine or ritual. Having said that, I never completely agreed with strict timings but I always felt that some sort of routine was beneficial.

For the first few years, organisation revolved around medications all day long, catheters, hospital appointments and travelling for treatment and surgery. Keeping Henry well, determined the sort of schedule we had, and there was nothing else that was more important.

The year post his kidney transplant was the worst when it came to trying to be organised. Despite my efforts, I would latch on to some sort of plan and wait for it to quickly crumble to the ground the moment he became unwell – and that was very often. When it came time to start school, it only got worse and with him getting admitted to the hospital once or twice a month and he rarely spent a whole week at school.

Bedtime routines were equally difficult or non existent, with the only constant being medicines, his catheter and a bedtime story. I started reading bedtime stories to Henry from a very young age and we now share a love for a good book at bedtime. I have been reading some of the same books to Henry since he was born and although we often pass on some books he feels he has outgrown, there are ones that remain his favourite.

A recent addition to his collection is a book written by the author of the popular ‘We’re the New Superheroes‘ Aunty Sab. Following on from it’s predecessor, ‘Bedtime Life Lessons for New Superheroes’ does not disappoint. Published by Faraxa Books, beautifully illustrated by Naomi Gatt, Aunty Sab takes little ones on a journey into dreamland with very valuable thoughts and life lessons through a wonderful rhythm and rhyme of words. There was no second guessing about this being a favourite!

If you’re stuck for ideas for Christmas gifts this year, this book should really make it to your list for any little ones.

For me, this book accompanied my premise to always try to go to bed with happy thoughts. When days are difficult (as they can be) it’s not always an easy task. When I turn off the lights and tuck Henry into bed, there is one very special custom that is also part of our bedtime routine – we tell each other what our favourite parts of the day were. And this ritual compliments this book so very well. Even when days are rough, there is always something to be grateful for.

The past few months of Henry being well has allowed us the luxury of having a routine. And with soothing and calming bubble bath, and body wash, even bathtime is a serene part of our bedtime ritual with Jack and Jill products that are made with soothing aromatherapy blends that include Australian Lavender oil. It smells so lovely and calming that I am tempted to use it for my bath too.

And because I am a stationary fanatic and love lists and cute things for kids, I have designed a Bedtime Ritual task sheet that you can download and print for FREE. Can you tell I am happy about our bedtime rituals?

Bedtime Ritual Checklist - A Bird with a French Fry

We have our list pinned up on the fridge and sure, it includes medicines and catheter time that might not be so fun, but rest assured, it also includes a bedtime story and time for happy ‘before bed’ thoughts.

Sweet dreams!

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