Booktrust- Bath, Book, Bed.
We are big fans of Booktrust, the UK’s largest children’s reading charity, having used their booklets, stickers and resources for many years through the local library. So, when the chance came to help support their Bath, Book, Bed campaign, we were keen to get involved. The campaign is to promote an evening routine which benefits children in terms of giving them regular adult reading time, as well as, hopefully, encouraging a settled sleeping pattern.
Our children have gone through many phases (often lasting several months) with their sleeping habits and this is not the kind of blog to give advice on sleep to other parents. Having said that, there is a lot of data which suggests that a gentle, regular pattern of calm and predictable activities in the evening which get children ready for bed is beneficial. Of course, reading is a brilliant way to spend time with babies and young children for a whole host of reasons.
We were given some items to use at bedtime with Little, (Big joined in too!). There were some lovely books, toothbrushes and bubble bath from Peppa Pig, who support the campaign. We were also given a booklet with tips on using the Bath, Book, Bed routine.
As the kids are getting older, bath time is often now shower time. They still enjoy it as part of their daily pattern, as they have done since they were babies. Toys for us include lots of animals and dinosaurs, foam blocks, tools and other bits. To be honest, anything waterproof will end up in the bath, and they love finding new toys in their rooms to bring in. Although they are playing, it is calm and often their games and conversations will last a long time, as they process the experiences they have had that day.
The benefits of reading to young children are well known, whatever time of the day that reading takes place. If you can read at bedtime, though, it can be a great settling activity as the emotional connection and soothing adult voice are often great ways to prepare babies and young children for sleep. In our case, our kids are free to choose their own bedtime stories (up to 3- depending on length) and Big has now moved on to a chapter of a longer book or a set number of pages of a non-fiction book (only one subject this dino-mad boy is interested in!).
I have an ‘each to their own’ attitude towards kids and sleep. It is important that everyone gets a good night’s sleep. In our experience we have found that persisting with a similar routine to the Bath Book Bed one has been beneficial for our family. It also means that even at busy times, you have the certainty of what to expect at bedtime, which for us, over time, has also developed into settled nights.
The booklet is good; very straightforward and easy to read. I think that the ‘Your questions answered’ page is particularly helpful as it gives voice to some questions which parents who are seeking advice might have.
Do you have a bedtime routine with your children? If you would like to join in the discussion online; share your experiences and tips using @booktrust and #BathBookBed.