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I don’t like schedules
I know, that is odd for a twin mom to say who is all about routine.
But I don’t like the definitiveness of schedules. Does that make sense? So when it came time to get the twins on a good nightly routine, the last thing I wanted was a strict schedule.
I wanted to find something that gets the ‘job done’ while also allows us to not live block by block.
We are pretty busy people, and I like it that way. That means that sometimes we’re home for dinner and through the rest of the night, other times that means we’re out for dinner or running errands late at night. Or crossing things off of our fall bucket list.
Either way, I wanted to put together a flexible night time routine for the twins. Something that would work with us regardless of what we were doing.
That might get you thinking “well, when do you do bath time then?”
Well, I actually don’t do bath time at night.
I mean, sometimes I do. But generally it happens simply when it is convenient for myself or my husband. Or when the twins are too messy. I don’t believe in bath time every night to wind down. I personally hate showers at night, so why would I make my kids take them then?
As for all of the other “normal” bed time things, we do those. Just a little differently because I like having a flexible night time routine for my twins!
Flexible Night Time Routine for One Year Olds
PJ’s after dinner
I like to get their PJ’s and diapers changed right after dinner. This also happens if we are outside of the house. I figure it just makes dinner clean up just that much easier! Dinner is typically where the twins get the messiest, so we wipe down their hands and faces and wrestle them into some fresh jammies.
Lights down/ Play Time
At home, we do this by turning on music or something instead of the TV so that they aren’t glued to a TV show and we play as a family. We also darken the house. I have been told that helps kids realize the transition from day to night time, so I have always stuck with it. If we are out doing something else, this is generally where we still try to settle down however we can, or when we hop in the car and head home.
I like to offer them some milk before bed to make sure they’re full. I really think it helps them sleep! They sleep about 12 hours each night and it is lovely. They usually don’t take it all, but I just stick it in the fridge for the next day.
After some milk, we try the toothbrush. They are still getting used to it, but with all of the new teeth they are getting I want them to learn how to brush! I don’t always use toothpaste, but when I do I have been using Hello Products Apple Tooth Paste for littles. It is safe for 6 months and up. So far they don’t seem to react to it at all.
Read a Book or Two
I’ll be honest, this doesn’t always happen. It is generally a thing we do if we are home for the night. If we are out and about we come home and go straight to bed since the car ride typically puts them out that late at night. But when we are home, we have been working with the twins to each grab a book and we read them aloud to them. I feel like I will put more emphasis on this nightly action when they get a little bit older, but right now we try to fit it when we can.
After all of that, we go to bed. If you didn’t know, we sleep trained the twins. You can actually read about our journey with that here. But for bed I like to make sure all lights are off when we walk into the room, set each twin down in bed with their lovies, flip the sound machine on and walk out. They usually take five minutes max before they pass out for the night.
Once all is said and done, my husband and I have the rest of the night to ourselves!
You might have noticed that I didn’t include any set times. Honestly, I don’t go by set times. Dinner is usually between 6-7 and then the process gets going from there. But the timeline really depends on what is going on. We do, however, stick to the above order of activities. I think that is what is most important. Babies and kids don’t understand time, so I don’t think it is extremely important to stick to specific times each night for everything.
Instead, they will know that jammies come, and then play time, and then bottle and all that. It also gives us the flexibility to spread the things out or condense them when we need to.
Keep in mind that my twins were sleep trained, so if your littles aren’t you might have to alter this nightly routine a bit. If you’d like to read more on how I sleep trained Kendall and Caeden, you can read about it here.
What do you think? Do you like the sounds of a flexible night time routine for toddlers? I know it is what works best for us.
Try it out and let me know how it goes!