Recently I’ve made a few changes to our night rhythm in the hopes of a more calmer, more peaceful bed time. Here is a basic look at our night routine with my almost 4.5 year old and almost 2.5 year old;
- Dinner (I will write another post regarding our afternoon/dinner rhythm)
- Bath or shower
- Brush teeth/brush hair
- Story time (read books, tell stories and or sing songs)
I won’t say that we always did things this way or that getting to sleep is always an easy task, we just take one day at a time. I am just trying to create a bit more consistency as well as the feeling of relaxation in our home especially at the end of the day when everyone is starting to feel really tired or just worn out, me included.
The biggest change we made is the addition of a Himalayan salt lamp. This one I purchased came with a dimmer switch to adjust the lighting, perfect for story reading. One of the trickiest things I found was trying to find the right amount of light for story reading but not too much light that keeps my children awake. I found this salt lamp perfect. It not only looks beautiful but I can adjust the lighting as needs be. Turning this light on at night is a non verbal reminder that story time and soon bed time is approaching. My children love it.
Our lamp is approx 2kg and is lit with a 15W bulb and does need to be plugged in. We keep our lamp on a bed side table at the end of one of my children’s beds. I got the idea to purchase one of these for home when I saw one being used in my eldest’s Montessori classroom in the reading/quiet area. It just looked so beautiful and calming.
I have come across on a few Waldorf inspired blogs that some people use a candle for bed time reading which is blown out at the end of story time as a final goodnight. I chose not to use a candle as we are using candles now at meal times, more on that in a later post.
With our story time, it varies a bit each night, but I do attempt to read aloud to both of my children, but what often happens is my eldest wants to read to herself first whilst I read to my 2 year old with short stories, he often falls asleep during this time. Once my youngest is asleep, my oldest then usually wants to read a story to me or she will ask me to read 2 or 3 books to her depending on how tired she is. These books are usually slightly longer, but not chapter books. There are some nights however that my children are happy to just lie down on their beds, close their eyes and let me read to both of them at the same time. There is always book reading, but sometimes there may be some calming songs or if my oldest is having trouble getting to sleep, we may tell stories about our day or I may tell her stories of when she was younger. Sometimes they fall asleep relatively quickly, other times it can take much much longer, especially if my youngest has had a later afternoon nap. My aim is to be calm, not feel rushed and enjoy this time with my children.
I will add, thanks to the inspiration from reading a blog post from Happy Whimsical Hearts on the ‘night rhythm in their home’, my children and I now say ‘Good night, sweet dreams, I love you and see you in the morning’ just before they drift off to sleep. My eldest especially loves this.