In my opinion 'rushing bedtime' is a big no-no.
Our bed-time wind-down looks like this:
6pm: Milk, get into pyjamas and quiet play time (sometimes TV)
6.30pm: Bed for our 8mth old and supper for our toddler6.45pm: Time to start getting toddler for bed (brush teeth, collect reward stickers, fill up a bedtime water sippy cup, collect her bedtime teddy, read one and only one bedtime story and then pray).
7pm: Lights out
Why I hate to rush bedtime:
1. I feel that this routine provides a necessary, safe structure for little children. My toddler knows exactly what happens before bedtime and we hardly ever have any fuss at bedtime (and only usually when I have forgotten to pray with her or give her her teddy).This routine also offers her a chance to be involved, to think before something happens and to get ready for bedtime herself- a chance to be more independent. After supper my toddler often searches the house for her teddy and puts him on the bed and I often find her impatiently knocking on the bathroom door ready to brush her teeth.
2. When I am in a rush at bedtime, I find our prayer time suffers the most. And this is probably the thing I should be saving the most time for. I don't ever want to rush my prayer or give my toddler an impatient vibe that will deter her from praying. Listening to my daughter pray has become one of my highlights of my day.
3. Our book time gives my daughter and I time to snuggle up and enjoy reading one (yes, just one book- we read plenty of other books during the day) book together. I find that this ends the day beautifully, in each others arms and ready to give each other a hug and kiss goodnight. Our 'goodnight book' is always a basic bible book, a positive Christian message or story- we never have to fight her on this, she loves her bible stories.
Up until a month ago we used to watch 'In the Night Garden' on ABC24kids which went from 6.30pm to 7pm. When it finished at 7pm we would then start our 2 year old on the teeth/book etc routine which meant I wasn't leaving her room until 7.15pm-sometimes later! This was the cause for me 'rushing'. I have noticed a definite switch in my own attitude since we no longer watch this show (I can play it at 6pm on the DVD) and get ready at 6.45pm. I feel that I am giving my daughter more time at night and I also get 'my time' at 7pm. A win-win! And I no longer feel as though I am rushing the 'slow down' period of the day.
What type of bedtime routine do you have? Do you find that you rush bedtime?