The Book Trust are back with their Bath, Book, Bed campaign for the third year. This is a really simple routine that I’ve naturally followed with all of my children, as I definitely find that having a structured bed time routine really helps them to get settled into a nice early bed time and go off to sleep happily – especially with babies and toddlers.

In the past few years, my other half has been working away with higher frequency and he tends to be in Canada for about a week each month, and then has to fit in other work trips here and there too. Even when he is in the UK, it takes over an hour to commute into work so normally it’s just me taking charge of the bedtime routines with the kids.

Our youngest is 15 months old, and then we have three older kids who are 6, 8 and 9. My biggest challenge around bed time is co-ordinating all of the kids considering my youngest sleeps earlier but takes quite a while to go through her bed time routine.

To deal with that, I’ve implemented a quiet reading time for the older kids, where I ask them to read their books in their bedrooms while I get the youngest off to sleep. They can also use the time for homework, or writing stories and other quiet activities like that if they like too, but I have all the Tvs and games turned off and it’s a wind down time for them too before they get ready to go to sleep themselves.

Once I’ve finished getting the youngest to sleep, I then go in to see each one of the boys in their room and have a chat with them about what they’ve been reading and about the plans for the next day, or anything they want to talk about. They’re often quite tired by then and do sleep quite early as they’re active all day and get up early, but if not then they sometimes stay up to read a bit longer.

As for my youngest, I’ve found that consistency and predictability with the bed time routine really helps so she knows exactly what is coming and is ready and prepared to sleep once bedtime rolls around. We sing a lot of songs in bath time, and I have particular ones that I normally sing while brushing teeth, changing nappies and so on, so the whole routine is really familiar for her.

At this age with N, I normally switch up the bath, book, bed and I actually do her bed time book before her bath as once she gets out of the bath she is very tired and just wants milk and sleep! This might get switched around a bit as she gets older but for me the order of book first doesn’t really matter as long as she still gets her stories, and a consistent routine.

We decided to try out recording a video of a bedtime story for N to listen to while her Dad is working away. If your partner is working away for a longer time, then I definitely think this would be a great idea, and I might get him to record a few more so N could choose from different stories read by her dad whenever he’s not home. It was so quick and easy to do!

Download the Booklet

You can download the free booklet here with advice from Jo Frost and Daddy Pig on implementing the three step Bath, Book, Bed routine.

Twitter Party

Don’t forget to join in with sharing tips and stories with other parents in a Twitter Party on Wednesday, 11 April between 8 and 9pm, on the #BathBookBed hashtag. Make sure you’re following @booktrust on Twitter, and five people who take part during the hour will each win a £20 book token

Giveaway

We’re giving away this lovely bed time bundle to one lucky In The Playroom winner

1x Peppa Pig Book
1x Peppa Pig Toothbrush
1x Peppa Pig Toothpaste
1x Peppa Bubble Bath
1x Bath, Book, Bed booklet
2x Best Bedtime Books (books may not be the same as the ones pictured – winner will receive 2 books at random from the BT’s Best Bedtime 2018 List)

For your chance to be the winner, just enter via the Gleam widget below!

Peppa Pig Bundle

Good luck