Holding onto the Bedtime Routine

At home on an average day most parents will agree ‘The Routine’ at bedtime is a very important factor in the harmony of the home. However when staying away from home it can be difficult to hold onto. Here are our top-tips on how to take the routine with you when you go:

Make space:

Whether you are staying in a hotel, or guest bedroom, make space for the physical embodiments of your routine when you arrive, this will ensure you don’t forget or lose things that can cause stress. Toothpaste and washbags in the bathroom, reading books and pjs on the bed.

Keep track of time:

The holiday atmosphere and excitement can add small changes to the routine, but no more than half an hour so not to confuse, or miss the best moments for interaction. For example at the normal bedtime remind the children they can have another half an hour, then it’s teeth, story and bed.

Five more minutes of you:

Being away from home may cause a little upset, or anxiety. Be prepared to give your children five more minutes of you before bed. If you are prepared to spend a little longer getting them to go down you will naturally be more relaxed, and they will benefit from this.

Late, late nights:

When staying away the bedtime might just go right out of the window, as other children, family catch ups and general merriment take over. Hold onto the routine as much as you can. Even if the children aren’t going to bed, at bedtime take the children upstairs, wash and get them in their bed-clothes, pull back the sheets, and let them know the bed is waiting for them when they are ready.

If you need to make sure other adults are aware of the routine, be confident in this. No sweets or sugary drinks for example, and a quiet corner with the television or toys would be best as it gets later.

And finally:

Staying away from home can be a great opportunity to have fun and socialise as a family, but it can also be stressful. By preparing for tiredness and over-excitement by holding onto the routine, your time will be more enjoyable too. Don’t forget your routine, if you hold in mind a glass of wine as you prepare for bed, do this when you are away, make sure family fun extends to you too!

Inspired by what you're reading?

Together with our supporters Fegans' help vulnerable families through our Parent Support and Counselling every day. Together we can transform the nation.

I'd like to Donate

The Parent Hub

Read more articles and professional advice from Fegans' Counsellors and Parent Support Workers, including information on parenting, mental health support and upcoming events