All responses taken from our Facebook groups: Foster Parenting Toolbox and Kinship Parenting Group.
Is bedtime a struggle in your home? We asked current foster, kinship and adoptive parents for their best bedtime tricks and tips. Here’s the advice they gave us:
“Bath, bedtime story, soft music, night light (only one we use), cover up and hugs.”
“We have a very strict routine. Dinner at 5, playtime, bath time, story time, clean up toys, lay out clothes for the morning, brush and floss, prayers, get into bed and play soft music until snoring starts. Lol. Bedtime for our kids is 8:30.”
“We have 3- and 4-year-old sisters. Consistency. Although we still have sporadic nights where the 3-year-old wakes from like 3:30-5:15 and nothing works. We start by 7:15 p.m. and switched from baths to showers (this was amazing and so beneficial to our household routine) then we follow the same routine every time — we help them wash their hair and give them a sudsy wash cloth and we remind each other what to wash. Our 4-year-old usually sings it and then we set a time and close the curtain and they scrub and play with their foam letters. We do lotion, hair product for curly hair, nighttime pull-up and pjs, they clean up their mess and then go read a book or swing in the swinging camp chair and the other one goes through a similar routine. Then we move to lights out, noise machine on for 3-year-old and Alexa plays lullabies. One of us usually sits on the edge of the bed as they talk to stuffies or flip through picture books. The younger one kinda flops body parts for a while and then drifts off. Usually the older one falls asleep hugging a book and we just adjust books and covers before we go to bed.”
Lately we have had issues with our older one wanting to climb into bed or sleep on the floor next to us — I was thinking about getting a cot. This is new for her but we are also experiencing some changes to the overall plan and disruption to visits so we think that is an impact. She will go back to sleep but she is waking 2-3 times a night briefly. The younger one does take melatonin and we find ourselves sometimes — especially during growth spurts — where she naps instead of going to sleep. We are still in trial and error with that.”
“Dinner, playtime, baths nightly get ours into the sleepy state AS11, FS11, FD9. I start doing lights off and drawing the curtains by 8 p.m. and the kids are usually asleep by 9.”
“I have a Bluetooth speaker in their room and play audible audio books of their choosing on a 30 minute sleep timer.
Play at very low volume. it is very calming and it is something to look forward to at bed time other than “just sleep.” My kiddos have gone through all the magic tree house books and a bunch of others.”
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