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My Bedtime Routine with Three Kids

Eva Amurri shares her Nighttime Routine with Three Kids

My recent “most requested” blog post has been to write one about how I juggle three kiddos at bedtime. And I figured I shouldn’t wait until the dizziness has subsided from doing this for the past three and a half months. I should write it now! LOL.

It’s no secret that I’m a single mama, and so the majority of the time I do this routine solo. It’s nice when I have somebody helping me with it, but I knew I needed to develop a routine that I could do easily (or relatively easily) all by myself.

It isn’t perfect, and to be honest, occasionally I’m almost in tears by the end of it if one or more of my kids is having an off night and not listening. I’m a normal Mom and my kids are normal kids! It doesn’t always go off without a hitch.

However, I think this routine is the absolute best I could come up with and I find that it’s generally easy on all four of us. I wanted to share today, since I know some other Moms are in the same boat, or expecting their third and curious about what bedtime is like.

I decided to use time frames to structure this post, since I think that would help put it in context. Let me know if you have any other questions that this post doesn’t answer!

I previously wrote about my Solo Bedtime Routine with Two Kids here.

Eva Amurri shares her Nighttime Routine with Three Kids

5:30PM

Bath Time for the Bigs!

Normally Mateo is still sleeping from his last nap of the day by this time. My kids eat dinner at 5pm, so they’re ready for the bath by 5:30. I give them a quick bath together, and then put them in Pajamas and brush their teeth. If Mateo is up during this, I put him in a bouncy chair in the bathroom with us and cross my fingers. LOL. For the bouncy chair, I love the Baby Bjorn one because it’s easy to carry around the house and folds up flat.

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6:00PM

iPads For Bigs + Time To Wake Up Mateo

I set the kids up, each with their own iPads, in their beds. I have Beats headphones that they wear so that I don’t have to listen to them fighting about turning down their respective shows. I allow them to watch the PBS Kids app, the Disney+ app, and the Netflix app (with MEGA parental controls in place). Since I’m not with them in the room, I want to make sure I’m on board with whatever they may watch, and as we all know Youtube Kids can get a little…weird.

Mateo normally wakes up from his last nap by 6pm, but if he’s not I’ll let him go until 6:15 and clean up the playroom a little with those 15 minutes.

Big Kids Bedtime Supplies:

 

iPad

Apple

The classic 10.2″ Apple iPad.

Light Weight Convertible Shock Proof Stand Friendly Kids Handle Case for iPad

LTROP

If you’re going to invest an iPad for your kids, I would recommend also investing in durable, shock-resistant case, like this one! I also love that this one has a built-in stand!

iPad Mini

Apple

The iPad Mini is another great option for kids, since it’s smaller and comes with more memory.

Light Weight Shock Proof Handle Friendly Convertible Stand Kids Case for iPad Mini

LEDNICEKER

Since you’re not saving any money buying an iPad Mini, I also suggest a good case, and perhaps AppleCare? LOL.

Fire 7 Kids Edition Tablet

Amazon

This is a great affordable tablet option similar to the iPad Mini. It’s 7″ wide, comes with a build-in case, and also the added assurance that if your kids break it, Amazon will replace it!

Fire HD 10 Kids Edition Tablet

Amazon

This is a more affordable option of the iPad. It’s 10″ wide, the screen is in HD, it has 12 hour battery life, and comes with a worry-free 2 year guarantee.

Solo 3 Wireless Headphones (2 Pack) - Mickey's 90th Anniversary Edition

Beats by Dr. Dre

These are the headphones I have for both kids! They’re pricey, but they’re great.

Light Up Foldable Stereo Wireless Bluetooth Headphones

Riwbox

These are a great, cheaper alternative to Beats headphones and they come in a few colors!

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6:15PM

Mateo’s Bath Time

I bathe Mateo, and then get him all snuggly in his jammies, and put him in his sleep sack.

 

6:30PM

Mateo’s Bedtime

I turn off the lights in his room, turn on the sound machine, and leave the door open to the hallway while I feed him his bottle so I can hear if any craziness goes down in his siblings’ room. Normally they are so excited to be watching their iPads that they act like perfect angels.

Twice we have had a “Mom, can you wipe me?!” emergency in the middle of Mateo’s bedtime, but so far so good! LOL.

Mateo is usually done with his bottle and burped by 7pm.

7:00PM

Bedtime For the Bigs!

After putting Mateo in his crib and shutting the door, I go down the hall for Bigs Bedtime! They’re pretty good about relinquishing iPads and not whining too much when it’s time to snuggle. I will occasionally read one book to them before bed, but I would say that the major downside of putting three kids to bed on your own is that there isn’t much time for books at night. I hope that when Mateo is a bit older and can bathe WITH them that I can reinstate the books before bed, and read to all three. I’m trying not to beat myself up about it too much for now.

I snuggle Major and Marlowe separately in their beds for about 5-10 minutes each, and sing them each a song and/or chat. Then I tell them the plan for the next day.

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7:30PM / 7:45PM

Byeeeeee

Mommy goes downstairs to drink wine and stare at the wall. KIDDING (kind of).

 

Eva Amurri shares her Nighttime Routine with Three Kids

 

Photographs by Julia Dags

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13 Comments

  1. Susan says:

    Wow! How on earth do you get Mateo back to bed so soon after his nap? I’m a grandmother but none of my kids would have been ready for bed for a few more hours after a nap. You are very fortunate!

    07.07.20 Reply
    • He’s still little– only three months old– so he likes his sleep!

      07.07.20 Reply
  2. Christina Masalha says:

    Im curious how you can get Mateo back to sleep just an hour after waking from his nap? Ive got 3 girls and I have always had to have atleast 3 hours before last nap and bedtime

    07.07.20 Reply
  3. Monica says:

    That’s what I was wondering. Mine would never go back to sleep an hour after getting up from a nap. Good for you Eva. You’re amazing.

    07.07.20 Reply
    • He’s not even four months old, so this still works since he gets tired! In a month or two he will probably drop this last nap of the day and then the other two will shift a bit to accommodate ( you can see his schedule here)

      07.07.20 Reply
  4. Andrea says:

    Thank you for sharing! I have 3 kiddos like you – 2 bigs ages 8 and 6 plus a little guy who is 18 months old so I understand the bedtime scramble! Lol! Just curious – what time do your kids typically wake up in the morning?

    07.07.20 Reply
    • The Bigs wake up at 7am, and Mateo usually around 6:30am

      07.07.20 Reply
  5. Mary G says:

    First of all you are a hero to have to put three kids to sleep on your own! It sounds terrifying!!! Marlow and Major still sleep nearly 12 hours straight ? My boy is 4 and a half and it has been a looong time since he has slept for so many hours at night, he must be exhausted to sleep that much.9 hours or a bit more is usually the maximum and he only occasionaly takes a very short nap at the afternoon for 20 to 30 minutes.I dont know if I should put the blame on Youtube for this!🤔 I would also like to ask you about the fact that with this bed time routine, which starts too early(for me), it seems like you basically cannot do anything else in the afternoons.I live in Greece and from May to October playgrounds and kids’ parks are FULL of small kids until 8.00 or 8.30 p.m. even on weekdays before the schools are closed.I mean we go to the supermarket in the afternoon and it is so common to see families with their little ones or take kids to sports activities until 7 p.m. or visit the doctor or whatever.I am in awe that your bigs are really tired and ready to sleep for the night from 7 p.m. I would really like to make mine sleep that early and not having him drag me to the playground or else because his energy is endless.Even though he wakes at 7.30 a.m. he still wants to go out and play in the afternoon with his friends (which we are happy that we can do it again after the quarantine) and I see this with most of the kids in my area.Sometimes they have so much energy that I wonder if they ever get tired!!! I get it that this bed time rutine suits your family, especially with a newborn it’s tough but would you say that in your communiy it is the usual or the exception to follow a routine like yours?

    07.07.20 Reply
    • Jess says:

      Just weighing in here because I think the “norm” can be super variable! Lots of kids need lots of sleep and lots of kids need less. I always have crappy nappers so my kiddos tend to sleep better and longer at night than most.

      My 3.5 year old usually sleeps 8:30-8am (no naps) in the summertime and her bedtime is way sooner in the winter when it’s dark at 4:30pm up here in the PNW. My almost-2 year old sleeps 7:30-7 am and has a shitty 45 min nap every day, haha. Expecting our third in 2 months and I’m very interested to see how bedtime is gonna go with three!!

      07.08.20 Reply
    • Nina says:

      This is the norm in my life for my two children. If you grab some time google Tizzy Hall, Save our Sleep. 12 hours sleep is what she recommends children need to live healthy energetic lives. It’s been a lifesaver for me in terms of ensuring my kids are in a good routine. I live in Australia and so we have an active outdoor lifestyle but our kids still go to bed around 7:30pm at the latest. Even if that means we leave the park after a bbq dinner at 7pm on Saturday nite and skip
      Bath that nite.

      07.14.20 Reply
  6. Marie Mocek says:

    I enjoy reading your blog. I’m well past my mommy time and have 8 grandchildren but you seem very relatable.

    07.07.20 Reply
  7. Moira says:

    Thank you for sharing…I have three as well, 5, 3, & 8 months so I am so thrilled to have found you some time back! I have all three go to bed simultaneously. (Nurse and read books). Do you leave them while they are still awake or do they tend to fall asleep? I will fully admit that I always wait for them to fall asleep, but would love to know how to leave them while still awake. Thanks and happy summer!

    07.07.20 Reply
  8. Irene says:

    Wow, when you write about it it seams doable, almost easy! I’m expecting twins now… My firstborn was sleep trained well since the very beginning (with this book: http://parental-love.com/shop/baby-sleep-training – worked very fast!) but for now I cannot imagine how to deal with a pack of 3! I guess the HWL method will work but even though it’s 3 butts to wipe and 3 mouths to feed…

    07.31.20 Reply