My wife and I have differences of opinion now and again. And it has taken me quite some time to realize that she is usually right. Well, actually, she’s always right. That’s not to say that my points aren’t valid, but that hers are more valid than mine.

So when my wife started reading to our eldest son at bed time when he was just four months old, I thought she was off her rocker. We were tired and exhausted from sleepless nights and summoning the energy to read to our infant boy seemed to be an effort too far!

But in this particular case, she was completely right and she proved this skeptic wrong very quickly indeed, a point I am often happily reminded of.

This is because through reading at an early age to our eldest son, and then repeating the effort with our youngest son, we set a napping and bedtime routine that we have followed without exception for the last four years. And we firmly believe it has gone a long way in establishing a habit that has promoted them going to bed without giving us any hassle. In fact, bedtime has always been a happy time in their eyes.

Kids love routine. They love to have a structured day where it’s clear to them what they are doing and when. Routine, in our opinion, provides comfort to children. There is familiarity and therefore safety in well-established and defined routines. It also helps kids transition from one activity to another, a difficult feat for most young children.

So as the clock winds round to 7.30, we start the process of milk, books and night-night. We ask them to pick their favorite books and then they sit on the blue couch. We turn off the TV and the family room goes quite as we turn the first page to begin.

Recently, we started reading them books on the iPad. Just when we thought the reading experience couldn’t get any better, it suddenly does. The added interaction of e-books and story book apps has added a new dimension to the reading experience. And I’m glad to say that it has contributed to the bedtime routine, rather than distracting from it.

So why don’t you tell us your secrets for the bedtime routine. Ours works for us, but what works for you? Tell us at

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One Response to “And so to bed . . .”

  1. Jeannine and I are very lucky and fortunate to have two beautiful girls (Alysse who is six and Jacklyn who is three). We both work, but I have the luxury of choosing if I want to work days or evenings.

    So when Alysse was born it was very important for us that she was raised by her parents instead of a nanny since we had that option. So I am with the girls during the day and Jeannine gets to be with them in the evening.

    On my days off Jeannine and I both get to put the girls to bed. We usually head up stairs around 8:30 after milk and head into Alysse’s room. First, Jacklyn gets her favorite Dora the Explorer book in her bedroom and brings it into Alysse’s room. We read that book to her almost every night. I don’t know what it is about Dora but she just loves that book. Alysse on the other hand loves to pick a different book every night. She has a tall book case in her bedroom with about 50 different books. I can honestly say she does not have a favorite book. She just loves to hear a different story every night.

    My favorite book happens to be “Let’s Go Giants”. Alysse picked it out with mommy at the book store after the New York Giants won the Super Bowl. So once everybody has their books we all pile onto Alysse’s bed and Jeannine usually reads one book and I read the other. Alysse has also just finished kindergarten and is reading on her own now. She actually loves to read to us at night now as well.

    This is one of the greatest things to see as a parent. She gets so excited when we head upstairs to bed and she gets to read a book to us. On the days I am at work in the evenings Jeannine usually reads one book and Alysse will read the other. I honestly have to say it is probably the best part of our day.


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