You arrive home a little later than you’d like from visiting your parents with the littles cranky and needing to get to bed. After a thorough search, one of them seems to have no clean pyjamas. The next one is melting down because she can’t find her diaper cover (you only bought one for her because you keep hoping she’ll outgrow night-wetting). The next one has lost her toothbrush. Ahhhhh! You know they need to be asleep now, but it will probably be 20 minutes before you can get everyone together! Does this resemble your home at some point? Or worse, does this resemble your home many nights?
This used to be the scenario in our family, but not anymore. We like our littles to get off to bed around seven o’clock but it is virtually impossible to do this if we aren’t organized. In our home, bedtime preparation begins in the morning.
As part of the kids’ morning routines, they pack their bedtime bags. I made each of them a bag using the ‘simple tote’ pattern in the book, Bend the Rules Sewing by Amy Karol. The pattern isn’t important, though I do like this one because it has a little pocket on the inside that we keep toothbrushes/toothpaste in. If you are going to make this pattern, I’d suggest enlarging the bag just a hint. Any bag that can be hung on a hook or doorknob or a box or basket that can be kept under the bed will do just fine.
Each child includes the following things in her bedtime bag:
- clean pyjamas
- diaper and cover (if needed)
- toothpaste (sometimes we’ve done everyone having her own tube, sometimes just one person keeps the tube for the family)
Then each bag is hung in their room on a hook dedicated to this purpose. Again, the exact place isn’t important. What is important is having a clearly defined place for their bedtime stuff.
The great thing about doing this preparation early on is that it is clear in the morning if someone is out of clean pyjamas or has a missing toothbrush (though this almost never happens, now) and the problem can be dealt with long before evening. Now, when evening rolls around, we simply tell the littles, “Get your bedtime bags,” and bedtime is a breeze.
How about you? How have you dealt with bedtime organization?