Bedtime Routines When Dad Works Away – and a Peppa Pig Giveaway!

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

101 thoughts on “Bedtime Routines When Dad Works Away – and a Peppa Pig Giveaway!”

  1. we always give our daugter either a bath or a good wash, put her in her pj’s give her a beaker of milk, a cuddle, start a story and then tuck her into her own bed when she’s really sleepy for the rest of the story

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  2. My son has a homework,dinner,shower one night then bath the next routine followed by bedtime with a story he’s 6.My daughters go to nursery and have dinner there.The youngest has eczema so we do alternate nights for their baths and then they have a cup of milk,supper then bedtime with a story they are 2 and 9 months.

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  3. a bath followed by a small snack and a drink, then teeth brushed and to bed with a cuddle and a story! I love nighttime cuddles.

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  4. A warm bath (if we have time!!), milk, read a book together & lights off OR chilling in front of Paw Patrol, piggyback to bed, story & then sleep.

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  5. Have milk downstairs with their tea, into bedroom about 6.30pm, bath every other day, always at least one story on the beanbag cuddled up, then if time, one more whilst they are tucked up in bed.

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  6. My son suffers with eczema so we don’t bath him everynight or it dries out his skin. For nights without a bath our bedtime routine is a massage with his moisturiser where we chat about his day, anything he liked or didn’t and anything he wants to tell me. Then story, cuddles and sleep.

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  7. we have a quite time with books or quiet play tv goes off then bath and teeth thenn a story and a song Then we say a sort of prayer to daddy in heaven then lights off and sleep

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  8. My daughters bed time routine was always a bath with bubbles! It used to tire her out just by playing with the bubbles! Whilst drying, a gentle massage to relax and then a warm drink with a story. Always works x

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  9. Ive only just got my 16 month old into a bedtime routine out of my three children she was the one who just refused any routine but now it’s bath,bottle, story snuggles then bed time 🙂

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  10. Bath, teeth, Pajamas’s, high five to older siblings, story and then we say. i love you, goodnight and see you in the morning

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  11. My husband does the bedtime routine, he gets Rory in his pj’s , takes him up to bed , he settles him and reads him a little story, trys to do some counting and colours with him during the story to get him involved . He stays in the room while Rory cuddles his duck and bear and falls asleep, then i take over with the monitor . He is really good at bedtime . He has more patience than me x

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  12. A nice bubble bath followed by a story of there choice then sing twinkle twinkle little star, cuddle , kiss and say goodnight

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  13. Bath, then they will usually have some milk or another drink while they watch one cartoon for 20-30 mins. After that I take them up to bed where I’ll read them a quick story before it’s lights out.

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  14. Bath, a story then cuddle when we talk about the good things in the day, the not so good things and one thing that made us happy

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  15. We watch nursery rhymes on the tv then go through to bed and she will usually fall asleep between 7 – 7.30. One of us always has to sit with her until shes asleep and she is much better behaved for daddy, so when daddy is working nights it’s a struggle

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  16. I do a story then daddy races to bed with him before putting on his sensory lights and tucking him in x

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  17. I love the idea of having Dad record a bedtime story for when he’s away. The only problem with that with us would be that Leo loves to interact with the books so he would be wanting to ask questions about what he sees on the pages. We’ve done facetiming from a distance and that seems to work – at times 🙂

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  18. Warm drink, bath or a good wash but the bath has to be have bubbles so she can play with them, pygmies on (she can’t say pyjamas properly yet), then story and a cuddle finished off with bed.

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  19. My 2 year old goes to bed around 7pm, she likes to take warm milk and a bedtime story. Depending on what mood she is in she may take a while to fall asleep…after going upstairs to her shouting…screaming and general noisyness about 12 times she will fall asleep (leaving her is no use…she screams like she is being murdered… All because she has dropped her dummy/bottle/toy/thrown her quilt/pillow out., another bottle of milk, put twirlywoos on and then she falls asleep…until around 12 when she remembers she could be awake rather than asleep…then again around 2am!!!
    She is my 3Rd child and if she had of been my 1St…she would have been the last!!! 😂

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  20. Its got to be story time before bed. It helps with routine and relaxation, but also with literacy. My parents always did it with us when we were growing up. All the hints and tips left here are lovely.

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  21. My children love a glass of warm milk before bed, then we go upstairs and brush teeth etc and read stories

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  22. My toddler has a bath and plays with her bath toys, brushes her teeth, has a warm milk and a cuddle with her favourite duck plush.

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  23. We have a set routine each night at the same time. Bath, watch a little TV, bedtime story, lights out.

    Reply
  24. With my granddaughter we follow the “bath, book, bed” routine, but if she is over-excited and finding it hard to fall asleep, then we make lists of things we have seen / done today, and things we plan to do / see tomorrow. I make sure I keep repeating some of the things, which kind of works like counting sheep, and helps her get to sleep.

    Reply
  25. My 1 yr old granddaughter has a bath, bottle, cuddle time and bed. She is in a regular routine time wise

    Reply

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