I think if you feel that not sticking to their routine is going to make you life harder then do what you need to do. Esp if you're going to have 3 kiddies in the house!!!
We have never really had a routine for Tom. He was demand Bfed until he was 14 months old so would generally go to bed at 9ish after his last feed. When he was weaned the only rule I had was that he was asleep by 7:30. This was mainly in bed, but I was happy for it to be anywhere as long as it was by 7:30! He slept really well in his pram and on other people's beds so it meant we could go to friends in the evening, or to the climbing wall or bbq!
It's much much harder now though, now he's over 2! He gets distracted alot easier so will not settle unless we're at someone elses house where there is a bed! If we're out out, like in a restaurant, we'll just let him stay up and then sleep in the car on the way back. If we can tell he's over tired then we'll either leave early or sit him on our lap with a book for some quiet time x
That part of the day is the only part that our routine is pretty fixed too. We have tea around 5 and kids are upstairs having a bath by about 6 with daddy while I blitz downstairs. They have their pjs on, milk, etc, and then we take one child to bed each (alternating each night) at 7pm (can be 7.30pm if we've got back a little late from somewhere)
We find it is important to follow this as neither of my children would sleep in late the next morning if they went to bed later so they'd get less sleep than they need and I don't really want to have to deal with a grumpy 1 & 2.5 year old, it's hard enough as it is!
We also really value our evenings whilst the kids are in bed just to unwind and recoup!
I think if it works for you then there's nothing wrong with it at all!
We would deviate from it if we needed to (say for the odd party or impromptu day trip, etc) but generally we like to keep it simple. It's only whilst they are this young anyway, once they're 4-5 yrs onwards you can afford to be a bit more flexible but when kids are young they don't do well on not enough sleep in my opinion and I don't think it'd be fair to keep them up just to suit myself on a regular basis!
We have a strict routine too - normally upstairs for bath at 7 and in bed by 7.30-7.40.
We do vary it sometimes and she always copes with it fine. She tends to wake the same time the next day but may nap for a bit longer the following lunchtime. Its never messed her up too much at all xx
we dont really have a bedtime routine other than they are both in bed for 7pm (Daisy has started asking for bed at 6pm recently though) - we have 2 bath nights a week, and this leaves more time in the evening. We generally have main meal for lunch then a sandwich for dinner so we have much more time in the evening, also a sandwich you can eat out if need be iykwim? If we happened to be running late home, or visiting family then they'll both be ok until we get home, then they go straight to bed, they both always seem to still settle ok, just without a story (unless Daisy shouts story please then she'll get one!) So we do have a routine but its flexible x
You have to do what works for you - I wouldn't worry about them missing out on something if they would end up crabby lol.
We never had a routine, never wanted a routine. But now at 20 months D does lol! We kept him out one night an hour or so later - for a family get together to see a dying relative so kind of important lol - and I left in tears as he was struggling bless him.
It's not something weve enforced but must be something he needs, he asks to go to bed. He gets up at the same time no matter when he goes to sleep (how do they do that lol!!!) so he does struggle if its a late one.
Tbh I'm finding myself more tired this pregnancy and having problems with my thyroid so it's working for me as I go to bed then too lol!!
I don't find it restrictive - I get a sitter if it's something I want to do.
He is in bed usually around 7, can do a bit more but by 8 he hits the overtired hyper phase an to me it's just not worth it X
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