Around here, it’s no surprise that I love a good bedtime routine, but it might surprise you to learn that I actually don’t do it every night! Before I was even pregnant with our son, my husband and I knew we wanted to tackle this whole parenting thing together.
Parenting as a team is challenging sometimes, and even though I am the stay-at-home parent, we both try to share in the parenting responsibilities when we can.
One awesome way you can do this is by rotating who puts the kids to bed every night. Rotating the bedtime routine isn’t the only way to share parenting responsibility, but I do think it’s a great way!
If you are considering changing up your bedtime routine, consider these reasons to decide if rotating the bedtime routine is right for you.
You are both the parent.
If you are a busy mom, it doesn’t mean that you have to do it all. You have a job and so does your husband. They’re just different. Staying at home, working from home, and going to work–none of it is an easy job to do. Sharing in the bedtime routine responsibility helps my husband and I spread the parenting love around a bit.
You each get a break every other night.
You are probably both dog-tired at the end of the day. You are up early, running around, and managing the day–all day, every day. Enjoying a little bit of alone time while your spouse does the bedtime routine can work wonders in terms of recharge. It an awesome mom sanity saver for me!
The biggest benefit is that it goes both ways when you take turns. One night you get 30 minutes of alone time, the next night he does. So there is something in it for the hubs as well.
You each get quality one-on-one time with kids.
Kids thrive on one-on-one time with mom or dad. It helps them feel special and important when either mom or dad is focusing only on them. Obviously family time is really important, but I would say that one-on-one time with your kids is equally important. If your husband is away at work all day, doing the bedtime routine is an awesome bonding opportunity. It’s simply good wholesome quality time.
You appreciate special bedtime moments more.
You may start to enjoy the nights when you do the bedtime routine a little bit more. When you only do it every other night, it makes it a little bit special since it’s not an every day thing. I started enjoying and appreciating giving my son a bath and putting on his jammies and reading him a story, and everything that encompasses a bedtime routine, all the more once we started trading off every other night.
It keeps the routine flexible.
I just love a good schedule and routine, because while they might seem rigid, they actually offer A LOT of flexibility because kids learn what to expect even when mom or dad isn’t around. Taking turns with the bedtime routine prevents a downward spiral of everything falling to pieces when mom or dad takes the night off. There is no ‘I only want mom to do it.’ Or ‘Where’s dad?’ It simply is the way it is. Kids get used to different people putting them to bed, and it makes bedtime easier when another person does the routine. Bonus: This also offers more flexibility when you have a babysitter or another caregiver putting your kids to bed.
Getting started with the rotation.
I’m far from expert on all of this, but here are a few things we thought about when we got started with rotating the routine…
If kids are used to only a certain parent putting them to bed every night it could take some time to transition. Keeping it to about 30 minutes, and doing the same routine every single night (bath, music, jammies, milk, cuddle, bed) can work wonders when rotating the bedtime routine. You want to establish a quick and easy bedtime routine that is simple for either parent to implement.
This offers consistency and helps kids know what to expect each night. Repeating the same routine helps cue kids for sleep, making the transition to bedtime much easier.
If you currently always put your kids to bed, you might try doing the kids’ bedtime routine with your husband for several nights in a row. You and your husband can all get on the same page, and your kids can get used to the other parent participating. After several days of doing the routine together, try rotating. If bath time is a bust, try these bath toys for toddlers to make it extra special. See what happens. It can take time to make this adjustment, but if you keep trying, and don’t give up, kids usually start to adapt to the change.
If rotating the kids bedtime routine isn’t right for you, that is 100% okay. I know this isn’t realistic for every family. It’s not something you have to do, but if you are looking to share more of the bedtime routine love, then by all means, I think this is worth a try!
Ready to find a routine that works for your family?
I’ve written a book with my friend Rachel that has ideas for rhythms, routines and schedules that’ll help your children ages 6 weeks to 5 years old. There are over 30 printables (all different routines you can print out) including tips for running your day and figuring out a routine with multiple children!
How do you handle bedtime routines in your home?
I've created a free email series just for you! If you are struggling with finding a routine, rhythm or schedule, this email series will help you find one that will work for YOUR family. Yes, really. I've seen my sample routines work time and time again for parents. I know it can work for you too.
This free email series will help you:
- Free sample routines for your child
- Best morning routine tips and tricks your kids will actually follow
- All-time favorite parenting hacks for getting more cooperation at bedtime
- Step-by-step guide for using a printable daily schedule with kids