With 4 kids bedtime just became a big chaotic time for us. A few months ago we started staggering bedtimes. (Along with wake up times). They go to bed oldest to youngest.
At first, Tommy, my oldest thought this was totally unfair. Now he loves it. He starts his bedtime stuff about 7:30 pm. He is in bed by 8. He reads for a while and is normally asleep between 8:30 and 9pm. He gets up in the mornings around 6 am.
Emily is just a half an hour behind him. She starts her bedtime stuff at 8pm, in bed by 8:30 and is usually asleep by 9. She gets up about 7 am.
Katey gets in her pajamas at the same time as Emily. She gets to come downstairs and read with me and Tyler for a while. I usually send her up to bed to do her bedtime stuff at 8:30pm. She is in bed by 8:45pm and usually asleep about 9. She gets up about 8 am.
Tyler, however is my little night owl. He stays up and hangs out with me until about 9 or sometimes 9:30pm. He usually sleeps in until about 8:30 or 8:45 am.
Why this works for me:
I get alone time with each child in the morning or in the night, sometimes both.
All the kids shower in the morning so we don’t throw that in at night.
There is no fighting over the bathroom. Everyone has their assigned time, same as in the morning.
It also goes along with my children’s personalities. Tommy has always been an early bird.
I know that this makes our bedtime last for hours, but it is just so much calmer during bedtime. It’s no longer a fight to see how fast I can get them all in bed.
This is linked up to WFMW over at We Are That Family.