Bedtime Routines

My oldest, sweet Emerson, has had a history of a hard time sleeping. Even as an infant, she had a difficult time. In sharing a room with two other sisters, sometimes, as you can imagine, peacefulness and rest are things we have to be really intentional about. And even with being intentional with staggering bedtimes and all of that, it can get really frustrating.

We've tried all sorts of things. Melatonin, watching what's being eaten/drunk, eliminating certain stimulating activities, changing who puts whom to bed, etc., but still we'll have little 8 year old feet come into our room an hour, two hours after bedtime, still struggling to find sleep.

This week it occurred to me, after googling for answers once again, that since she's gotten older, we've eliminated a lot of her bedtime routine that we worked really hard on instilling when she was tiny. It takes her a while to transition- she doesn't do change well- and it was a lightbulb moment.

I myself strongly respond to my environment... to ritual... to calming my own mind. I need to help my girl do that too.

So this week, I've started putting back pieces of her routine. The two big girls snuggle down into their beds, and instead of the kisses and hugs and me walking out, we turn on a little battery operated tea light in a pretty container, have the room dark and the sound machine on quietly in the background, and then I turn on a booklight and crack open a chapter in "The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe." After we read a chapter (or sometimes two!), then I quietly sing to them a few of the hymns I would sing when they were tiny. THEN we have hugs and kisses and prayers. And it really only costs me a few more minutes a time- and tells my girls that they are a gif

And my 8  year old has been sleeping so much more peacefully. She still may get up once, but it's usually only a few minutes after bedtime, and she sleeps hard and fast after that.

This has been helpful for us, so I thought I would share it.

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