Dads and the Bedtime Routine

Being a father is rewarding, but sometimes it’s hard to work in enough quality time. A dad who works full time may not be home in time for dinner, and often, families pack so much into weekends that there’s very little time left for relaxing and enjoying your kids. The solution? For many dads, the answer is to take charge of the bedtime routine.  

What’s so great about bedtime? It’s a peaceful time, in which kids and dads can have time together that’s relaxed and enjoyable. As an added benefit, at the end of this time of bonding, the kids are usually asleep. It’s a nice thing to do, too, because studies show that women tend to carry the bulk of the “mental load” of raising kids. When dads step up to handle bedtime, it gives moms the opportunity to take a much-needed break.  

As a dad, you’re probably always looking for ways to spend time with your children one-on-one. Giving your children this kind of attention at bedtime can make them feel special and important, which benefits everyone involved. They’ll remember these special moments all their lives, and being involved in caring for your kids can help you appreciate the unique individuals they are. If you have more than one child you’re putting to bed at a time, consider taking turns putting them to bed, so that each parent gets the opportunity for this focused time with each child individually.  

What constitutes a good bedtime routine?  

  • It’s consistent. Regular sleeping and waking times are important for children, even on weekends. By sticking to a set bedtime, you’ll help your children get enough sleep so that they can be well-rested during the day.  
  • It has a pattern. This pattern will shift as the child grows and reaches different developmental stages, but in general, it should include all the things a child needs to do to get ready for bed, along with some relaxing activities like reading a book, listening to gentle music, and talking about the day. Try to keep the bedtime routine to 30 minutes or less, not including bath time, and be firm about when it’s time to go to sleep. Sticking to a familiar routine can give a child a feeling of security and a sense of well-being. 
  • It’s healthy. A good bedtime routine can include a healthy snack, light enough that it doesn’t interfere with sleep. Dental hygiene should also be part of your bedtime process because instilling good dental habits will have lifelong benefits. The bedtime routine should not include any stimulating activities like video games or screen time. In fact, these types of activities should be discontinued 30 to 60 minutes before you begin putting the child to bed.  
  • It’s cozyThe room should be dark, quiet, and cool but not cold, the child should be dressed comfortably, and the noise level in the house should be low. If your child does not like the dark, use a night light or leave the hall light on and the bedroom door open. A security object like a doll, stuffed animal, or blanket can make a child feel secure, comfortable, and in control when falling asleep.  

When dads take over the bedtime routine, both they and their children benefit. Being a dad is a great experience, and sometimes men who didn’t think they’d want to play that role may find themselves regretting their decision to have a vasectomy. If you’re considering a vasectomy reversal, the Center for Vasectomy Reversal is here to help. Under the direction of Dr. Joshua Green, our caring and skilled team provides state-of-the-art treatment for men who need a vasectomy reversal or have other concerns about their fertility. Whether you’re ready to schedule a procedure or just have questions and want to learn more, you can contact us through our website, or call 941-894-6428 to arrange a free consultation.  

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