Recently a good friend of mine was visiting with her young kids and watching her go through the bedtime routine with the younger ones really took me back to when my own daughters were young. With older children, you tend to forget that “witching hour” when it seems like all the energy in the household is focused on a singular goal: getting the children to sleep.
All the energy in the household is focused on a singular goal: getting the children to sleep.
Bedtime – like all transition times – is stressful for parents. Some kids dread going to sleep and will do anything to drag out that inevitable moment when Mommy kisses their forehead and walks out the door. Others are creatures of habit and demand that a strict (and sometimes complex) routine be followed: or else!
Sometimes they’re tired and cranky, sometimes they’re hungry, sometimes a new monster has just moved in under the bed. Some things you can’t control, but having a plan (and yes: a routine!) can really help turn bedtime from a swirl of chaos into an opportunity to connect with your little one and help send them off to dreamland peacefully.
There were a few rituals we developed in my home that really helped smooth that bedtime transition. One was the quiet story (one story, child’s choice). This was a great chance to snuggle together under the covers and share some together time. Each girl got her own story (no sharesies!) and I relished that time with them alone.
The other habit was the “bednight snack”. It didn’t take me long to realize that my kids were often hungry for a light snack just before the rest of the betime ritual began, and somehow the phrase “bedtime snack” morphed in their toddler-speak into “bednight snack” and it was just so cute that even the adults adopted it and even my teenager still says it to this day.
There’s something about sitting at the kitchen table in your jammies that just calls for cereal.
The bednight snack needs to be small, light and nutritious. You don’t want to cause a midnight tummy-ache or wild and crazy nightmares! Our snack of choice was (and still is) a bowl of cereal. It’s easy to prepare and clean up, and there’s something about sitting at the kitchen table in your jammies that just calls for cereal. A favourite choice for us was Rice Krispies. As a mom, I always felt good giving my kids Rice Krispies because I knew it was good for them, and I felt better that there were no ingredients I couldn’t pronounce on the box! And I could rest assured that my children would eat it: they loved the sound of the snap, crackle, pop! And they loved the taste, too.
So when my friend was beginning to settle her children for sleep that day, I offered the kids a “bednight snack”: Rice Krispies. They loved it!
My children may be racing through their tweens and teens, but I still vividly remember them as little preschoolers, clamoring for hugs and kisses, favourite toys and snacks. It’s nice, really, moving through the stages of parenting; because you become the wise, experienced friend with advice and reassurance to offer newer moms.
This post is sponsored by Rice Krispies. All experiences and opinions are my own.