Establishing a Bedtime Routine in Two Homes

Each year, more than 1 million children in the United States experience the separation or divorce of their parents. For these children, it can be difficult to maintain consistent bedtimes and going-to-bed routines when they divide their time between two homes.

Establishing a bedtime routine is the most important of all because keeping a consistent bedtime is critical for your child’s overall health and well-being. Sleep is where they experience growth, process memories and problem solve. It’s important you protect this time by keeping things consistent and free of disruption.

Studies have found instituting a consistent nightly bedtime routine helps children fall asleep faster, go back to sleep more easily, and improves parents’ moods.

Establishing a consistent bedtime across two households goes far beyond setting a bedtime. Rather, consider the routine of taking a bath, brushing teeth and putting on pajamas. Do you read one book or two? How long should you lay in bed with your child before you leave, even if they ask you to stay? Is their mattress at each home similar enough that they feel like they are in a familiar place even though it’s different? All of these things are important for consistent sleep.