When I think of bedtime, I think of a time that is fun and relaxing for me and my children. But it hasn’t always been that way. I was having problems with my son getting him to stay in his bed at bedtime. We had a routine: he would get a bath, brush his teeth and finally would have stories read to him. But when it was time for him to stay in bed, the problems started. I would spend hours putting him back into his bedroom. I would not speak to him, I would just put him back in his bed; this would go on for hours. Then it dawned on me….staying in bed wasn’t part of the routine!
To fix this problem I created a bedtime chart. I got pictures from my computer from clip art. I titled it with my sons name and wrote the title as his bedtime checklist. Then I wrote what I wanted him to do in the order it should be done in. The first for him was to take a bath, brush his teeth, have a story read to him and stay in bed. I put the chart in a picture frame (I got at the dollar store) as well as some dry erase markers. After the chart was in the frame and the marker was Velcro to the top left corner(for easy access). It was time to start. I explained the chart to him and after supper he practiced using the marker on the frame. After he completed an item he would use the marker and put a check mark in the empty box next to that item. When he got to the end for our new bedtime routine the only thing left was to stay in bed.
Now bedtime is seamless and it does not matter how long each task takes it’s the order they are in and now staying in bed is part of the routine. Happy Sleeping!