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Welcome to Season 2 of The Proud Police Wife Podcast! We have some amazing guests this season. If you haven’t already, be sure to check out all 16 episodes of Season 1 of the podcast for support and resources for police wife life.
Today we are talking with fellow police wife Melissa about bedtime routines for your kids with a spouse on night shift (and you are solo parenting at bedtime).
No doubt bedtime can be a stressful time when your spouse is working and you are putting kids to bed solo on top of normal evening routines like dinner and chores. But it doesn’t have to be a nightly struggle.
Melissa is also a toddler mom, certified pediatric sleep consultant and founder of Lavender Littles Sleep Consulting. After overcoming sleep struggles with her own daughter, Melissa became passionate about helping other families and solo parents get the sleep they need and deserve. She wants parents to know that sleep deprivation does not need to be a part of parenthood and that there are solutions and support available. When Melissa isn’t talking about sleep, she enjoys scrapbooking and traveling with her family.
Let’s dive in!
Ways to Create Bedtime Routines with Your Kids When Your Spouse is Working
Have a streamlined evening.
This begins before just putting your kids to bed. Some ways to do this are: meal planning, creating meals that require less dishes, having a good evening flow and not having to rush your night away.
The hour before bedtime should be the wind down period.
Have a consistent and predictable evening and bedtime routine.
Do the same activities, in the same order as best as you can each night. This can help reduce meltdowns and bedtime battles.
Ways to Help Your Child’s Sleep Environment:
Just as our spouses as first responders use black out curtains and sound machines, all people, including children, can benefit from using these items, as well.
Children go to bed earlier and it may be during daytime hours. So having black out curtains can help keep the room dark obviously but also help your child create melatonin to trigger your brain that it is time to sleep.
We recommend these black out curtains.
Sound machines can help drown out environmental noises. Try putting it near the door or window to block out sounds from outside whether it is your spouse coming home or the garbage truck driving by.
When Putting Multiple Children to Bed Try This:
Do the nighttime routine together.
Things like brushing teeth, reading books, and bedtime routines can be done as a family.
Also, you can encourage older children to be more independent for some tasks. Older children can also help younger children in the family by reading them a book, putting their toothpaste on their toothbrush, helping with pajamas. Everyone has to chip in during bedtime, even the children.
3 Things to Avoid Before Bedtime:
Melissa calls these the 3 S’s.
Sugar, stress and screens should all be avoided at least an hour before bedtime. While stress can be hard to eliminate completely, trying to have a calm evening before bed (as opposed to putting them to bed upset), can truly benefit them and their quality of sleep.
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