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Thread: evening routine - kids in bed by 7pm?

  1. #1

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    Default evening routine - kids in bed by 7pm?

    So, I am about to enter the brave new world of being a SAHM (for a whole YEAR!!) so I want to move our boys from their current routine to a more "family" friendly one.

    Currently I work full time so the boys (aged 4 and 2 and a half) eat dinner with us between 6.30pm and 7.30pm (depending on when I get home and how organised we are) and between 7.30 and 8.30 it is bath/shower, teeth brushing and book time before bed at 8.30pm. They currently nap in the afternoons, Ollie always and Flynn every three days or so.



    Once I am home full time I would like to have them in bed by 7pm. But I've found that even on days when I am around I am so used to the current routine that I struggle to get it all done in time. Obviously I am starting my "evening" routine way too late.

    So what do you do, if you get your kids fed, bathed and in bed early? When do you start dinner? Do your kids nap? Do they bath before or after dinner? Do you and your partner eat with them or separately? Feel free to be specific because I am quite OTT with routines and organising, so you won't freak me out with any displays of control-freakism

    Of course, there will soon be a newborn in the mix so that will obviously throw a dummy in the works, but I would like to give it a try....

  2. #2

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    I start dinner earlyish as much as I can - 5.30-6pm... then aim to have one in the shower by 6.30-6.45 then the second by 7.00pm... then bed 7.30. I could probably extend that to 8pm as they are up pretty early, but I like the idea of them relaxing in bed, reading and winding down after a cuddle on the couch from 7.15-7.30. If they start watching a show, they want to keep watching and makes bedtime harder!
    Kelly xx

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  3. #3

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    similar to kel,b/n 5 - 5.30 start bath
    b/n 6 - 6.30 have dinner
    bottle at 7, book and bed at 7.30pm.

    doesn't matter what time miss j goes to bed shes ALWAYS up at 6am

  4. #4

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    Default evening routine - kids in bed by 7pm?

    Hey Rory!

    We start bedtime routine at about 5pm - DH runs the bath and I start on dinner, if I haven't gotten it organized before then. I am lucky that DH works for himself so he can be home a bit earlier.

    DD is usually in the bath by 5.30pm, out and dressed by 6pm, when we have dinner. Then it's quiet games til about quarter to seven when it's into night nappy, last drink of milk, brush teeth, prayers and bed by 7pm.

    Lately she has actually had a few showers, with DH, which he finds easier sometimes.

    Newborn DS doesn't have a bedtime routine yet but when he is awake he goes in the bath with DD. That will be our plan when he is old enough.

    Hope that helps.

  5. #5

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    Mines a bit different but both girls are in bed at 7pm.

    We usually go out in the morning, come home and have a bath then lunch then afternoon nap.

    5pm start cooking dinner
    5.30pm Eat dinner
    6pm - 6.30pm play/read books etc quiet down time
    6.30pm brush teeth, toilet, change nappy etc
    6.45pm read book to each child for bedtime story and tuck them in
    7pm tuck in and leave the room and let them settle.
    They usually sleep until 7am next morning

  6. #6

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    We tend to eat dinner between 5pm - 5.30pm, bath at 6pm, stories at 6.30pm, twins go to bed at 7pm and older 2 go to bed at 7.30pm.

  7. #7

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    i have dinner ready for DD and myself at 5.30/6.00pm. if DP has the day off he eats with us otherwise he normally gets home about 5.30 so doesnt like to eat as soon as he walks in but he sits at the table with us while we eat. then we play in the lounge for a bit, DP and DD spend some time together if he has been at work, read books or do some puzzels, quiet games. then we run the bath at about 6.45/7pm that normally lasts 15 mins. in to pjs and to bed. she is normally asleep by 8pm. some times, depending on the day sleep...if it over runs to 4pm, which it sometimes does then bed time shifts back half and hour to an hour. and it works the other way too...if she has little or no day sleep she is normally begging for bed by 5.30!!
    i have tried to get her in bed earlier but she is an early bird and im not that great at getting up at 5am! so i opt for a little later to bed and up at 6am!! good luck

  8. #8

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    During the week DH is not home early enough for us to have dinner all together so this is what I do:

    2pm Cook dinner or at least start preparing while DS is sleeping
    5.30pm dinner
    6.00pm bath for DS and either bath/shower for DD
    6.45pm bottle for DS
    7.00pm Story and bedtime for DS
    Then I spend 30mins with DD - cuddle on couch with a story, usually a chat about our day, brush teeth etc and she's in bed around 7.30pm

    On the weekend we usually have dinner 6 - 6.30pm. DS still goes to bed at 7pm but usually DD is up until around 8pm.

  9. #9

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    This is tricky. Short answer: We have a very loose routine. It is hard because my 6yo wants to go to bed early but my 4yo basically won't let him do that because they share a room. My 4yo is full of energy and wont go to bed until I have my DH home to help me.... which is around 7pm... and I find it hard to ask DH to launch straight into the night routine as soon as he walks in the door. So my boys eat dinner quite late, when DH gets home.... also because I like the idea of us all eating at the table at least once a day (otherwise DH would hardly see them!).

    They have their baths before dinner (starting at about 6pm) so after dinner (at about 7.15pm) all they have to do is brush their teeth and go to bed... but in reality my 6yo wants to do his reader (homework) with Dad. We try to settle our 4yo at this time but he is like a jack-in-the-box. Sooo in reality they are both in bed by about 8pm. If I had two boys like my 6yo then it would be more straightforward... but my live wire 4yo really requires the extra help of my DH and frustratingly he doesn't get home until 7pm most nights. Tricky. Maybe things will improve with a tree change... here's hoping!

    I'd aspire to your preferred routine... but at the end of the day it might be personalities and your DH's routine that makes or breaks it. Good luck!

    ETA: this thread has got me thinking. I suspect that if I am honest with myself I probably allow the boys to stay up beyond 7pm so as to not only see their dad but so that that dad can see how challenging it is do do the evening routine. I do the morning routine by myself (including a school run) so DH can get out the door to work and I have my 4yo all day and I guess that if I also did the evening routine DH would almost be totally shielded from the hardest part of raising kids. Is it bad that I just don't want to be taken for granted? He looks after them for about half a day each weekend when i have my Me Time... but there should be more to father hood than that... I think. Not saying that anyone is wrong with what routine they choose though.
    Last edited by Bathsheba; July 30th, 2010 at 02:12 PM.

  10. #10

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    I have a pretty strict routine at night...
    4:30pm I am getting the kids dinner ready.
    5pm the kids eat dinner..including DD now. I do the dishes while they eat. They are usually finished by 5:30pm, so they either play or watch the giggle and hoot night hour until it's time for a bath, they like the giggle and hoot goodnight song
    6pm bath, all three of them in together, they are usually out by 6:15, so they go and play for a little while.
    6:30pm DD goes to bed after a BF
    6:45pm stories for DS2 then in bed by 7pm (he no longer has a sleep during the day)
    7:00pm story or school book for DS1 and in bed by 7:30pm

    We tend to have our dinner either when the kids are in bed or while they are playing after a bath. This is simply due to DH not being home until 7ish most nights. Usually by the time he gets home dinner has either been cooked through the day or everything is chopped and ready to go.
    This routine still worked well when DD was a newborn, I think it helped her establish a good night routine as well. If it came to be that she needed feeding while still very little and the boys were having dinner, I would do it in the kitchen sitting on stool while they ate and chatted away to me about their day.

    I also have a rule for me...I do not do any housework of any kind (including folding washing) after the kids are in bed. DH and either chat, have a glass of wine, watch TV together or I go to bed early and read a book. Or of course I play on BB

  11. #11

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    I start the evening routine around 4:30 when I start putting dinner on. It takes me a while some days due to feeding/watching DS so I like to start early. If I get a few minutes during the day I'll chop the veggies or whatever, just makes it easier in the mad rush of an evening. If I do a slow cooker dinner, I do it in the morning around 9am. DH gets home at 6pm and we all sit down to eat dinner then. That's me, DH and DS. DD has her dinner somewhere between 4 and 5pm.

    After dinner, DH then gives both kids a bath at 6:30pm while I clean up after dinner, wash the dishes, etc. At 7pm we all sit on the couch while I feed DD. DH reads a book to DS while he has a cup of milk. At 7:30pm, it's bedtime. DH puts DS to bed and I put DD to bed (she feeds to sleep).

  12. #12

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    Hi Chica,
    I'm a bit of a routine nazi.
    I usually put Jordy down for a nap around 10:00, but if he's still singing and cooing by 11:00 I get him up, give him lunch and he's back down by 12:00. Depending what time he wakes from that he's usually down again by 2:00 (he sleeps around 3hours per day, sometimes broken up sometimes all in one hit), and he never sleeps past 4:00
    I cook dinner from 4:00 ish, we eat at 5:00, if they had baths at night I would probably give them that at 6:00 (they currently have showers with us in the mornings), bottle at 6:30, teeth and story by 7:00 and lights out by 7:15 at the latest.

  13. #13

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    Thanks girls, this is all a great help.

    Currently I pretty well do the evening routine by myself because by the time I get home from work DH is "over" it (which I can fully understand!). DH will be home full time (studying by correspondence) so there will be no need to keep the boys up to spend time with a parent (as there is now). Keep it coming!!

  14. #14

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    My son is 1 and he goes to bed at 6 and sleeps through till 6am
    The girls go to bed at 7pm and they are up at 6 they are almost 8 and almost 6

  15. #15

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    i do the nigth time by my self

    dh leaves at about 4.45 so i start getting dinner ready, we eat around 530.. then have bath about 6-630 ish (my kids will play for ages in the bath) then jammies and books then DS waits in his room while i put DD down with a few songs.. then its DS 's turn. unually they are quiet in bed at 7

  16. #16

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    If you have trouble re-setting bed time you may have to get them up earlier in the morning or a few days. I am thinking of doing this because our night time routine is getting too late. Ideally I like the girls in bed by 7.30pm and lights out by 8pm, but lately it has been lights out at 8.30/9pm. I also have to be more strict with not pandering to every little request iykwim.

    I try and cook dinner any time from lunch time to 3pm. Or I at least prep it.
    In the late afternoon I take the girls outside to have a run around
    We generally eat by 5.30pm
    Bath around 6.00pm
    Older girls are usually playing till 7.15ish. Whilst I clean up dinner
    Then I do story time, tuck in, sing songs etc. I usually have a lights out rule by 8pm (this is when i start to get all the requests)
    By this time I am ready to get Eva down and some times she will not go down till 9pm or later!!

  17. #17

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    I feed mine by 5.30 - they can't wait any longer and get horribly raggy otherwise. That gives us 90 mins to get the rest of it sorted and in bed by 7, 7.30.......and hopefully asleep shortly after.

    I WAY get what you mean Bath, those are the hardest parts of the days. It was the thing I wasn't looking forward to the most after I moved because I don't get any respite at bedtime anymore. I bit the bullet in preparation and now I have it running so smoothly that someone coming home in the middle of it stuffs things up. I don't even answer the phone until the kids are asleep.

    I have alot of problems getting Beth down, so the way I see it - even if she is going to jack in the box for a while, the earlier I get them to bed the earlier she will eventually stop popping up at a reasonable hour. (work in progress )

  18. #18

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    I'm also a bit of a routine freak but i feel in control that way and feel somewhat equipt to handle anything the day may throw at me. For the most part

    I have a 3.5 year old and a 17 month old.

    If we go out we generally go out in the early part of the day because my evening routine starts with organising dinner around 3ish. If i have to go out in the afternoon i do my best to have dinner prepared even earlier. The evening routine is pretty much me with the boys DH doesn't get home till about 6ish.

    DS1 won't have a day sleep anymore but DS2 does and he's generally in bed from 2-4ish. I use this time to prepare/make dinner.

    When he wakes we have a bit of a play and if they need a bath (i bath every second night) they are in the bath about 4:30ish.

    I then put pj's on and start serving up dinner, they eat anywhere between 5-6 and DH usually walks in the door as i'm finishing up giving them their dinner.

    After dinner i clean up while DH has a play with the boys and then we do teeth, bed and stories. Depending on the day and how tired they are, they are in bed anywhere between 6:30-7:30pm. DH and I usually wait until the boys are in bed to eat our dinner peacefully

    DS2 is usually in bed just before DS1 and then i lay in bed and read to DS1. With a new bub on the way the boys are going to share a room soon so the bed/reading may take some getting used to with the two of them together but i'm hoping DS2 will be happy to quietly lay down and listen to a story soon too.

    Then the day starts again about 7am the next day

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