Bedtime routine help!

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    • #82380

      I’m brand new here and need any help I can get!
      My husband has ADHD and is in charge of bedtime routine for our child who will be 3 in a couple months. I typically do not help and use this time to try to recharge as I am a (struggling) stay at home mom. Between the dad who can’t stay focused and the toddler who doesn’t want to sleep, bedtime is a huge challenge and a 2-3-4 hour event, so my recharge time is not very relaxing, and we all end up going to bed around 10pm or later. Does anyone have tips on how a parent with ADHD can more easily get a child ready for bed?

    • #82504

      Just a thought, but does your husband have a bedtime ‘to do’ list? I have written one for getting ready in the mornings. Without using the list I’ll take up to 1.5 hours to get ready for a day’s work because I keep getting side-tracked but having the list to hand I can keep on track and be ready in an hour.
      My job involves hard manual labour, which imo is as effective as the ADHD medication I was on for 10 years as I was growing up, so if your husband has an office job it may be worth him trying to fit in a bit of exercise to release some of that energy in order to stay focussed – though I’m aware finding time would be difficult as a parent!
      Hope this helps.

    • #82519

      Thank you; I really appreciate your input.

    • #82546
      Penny Williams

      Consistency is key, so I agree with establishing a pretty strict routine.

      This Sample Schedule May Just Save Your Sanity

      If your husband has trouble sticking to the routine or the timing, set alarms in his phone for each step and the time it should happen. I don’t have ADHD and I use a lot of alarms because I get caught up in other things. This app could help as well, and get your child started on following routines:

      This App Makes School Mornings Less Crazy

      ADDitude Community Moderator, Parenting ADHD Trainer & Author, Mom to teen w/ ADHD, LDs, and autism

    • #84204

      Start with a bedtime routine, write it down, type it up, attach pictures to each thing with big “1, 2, 3, etc” and repeat it like it’s a game. Limit screentime (including tv) for at least 30 mins before bedtime, and stick with the routine. Also, I do melatonin 30 mins before lights out. So for example, our routine, that my 5 year old repeats, and it hasn’t changed in 2 years is:

      Brush Teeth
      1 small drink of water
      1 minute of snuggles
      Bedtime kisses and goodnight

      I read the book with my voice lowered, the lamp on low (use a low wattage bulb or move the lamp further away). I have also started chapter books that are boring to look at so my son just has to ‘listen’. The 1 minute of snuggles has to be quiet or ‘you will leave’. So it’s just snuggles and backrubs in silence, no talking. Consistency is key. Get them on board with the plan, and you’re more likely to achieve success. Ask your child ‘what should we do before bed?’ and get their buy-in on the plan.

    • #84213

      Routines are very important and you and your husband need to lock yours so you have a structure for you child. It is probably best whatever you need to do for quiet time is considered as part of that. You also might consider if your ADHD child (and possibly husband) may be biphasic. This means you sleep twice during a 24 hour period, usually 4 to 5 hours at night and a 20 to 30 minute nap during the day. Thus you need much less sleep than “average” or (hate this) “normal”. I happened to be, which explains my lifelong need for much less sleep than a neurotypicals and frustration over everyone trying to force me to sleep 7 to 9 hours. I am a late life (at 53 and am now 56) ADHD and dyslexic diagnosis and being able to sleep how is natural without being told I am wrong is very empowering.

    • #84260
      Katie Blum-Katz

      Yes! Congrats for having a bedtime ‘routine’ in the first place! Many people do not. Take a look at those after school hours- usually really challenging for all of us- parents & kids W/ ADHD! Do you have any aerobic exercise in your routine after school another down time BEFORE getting into bed? Even 20-30 minute walk somewhere in there before or after dinner time helps tire us physically, & then when we do sit down or recover from a brief physical activity, our ADHD brain begins to slow down. Also try a short (even 6 minutes) guided mindfulness practice to help slow down our breathing. I highly recommend Lidia Zylowska, MD,”the Mindfulness Prescription for Adult ADHD”. The book comes with audio CD of guided exercises. We usually do a short 1 of 6 minutes b/c certain members of my family can barely sit still that long! However, practiced each night right before bedtime works to slow us down & get to sleep much faster. Hope this helps. Good luck.

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