Right our 4yo DD basically has no bedtime routine. We emigrated last July, moved house the March before that, she was enrolled in Kindergarten in September but we've had to reduce her hours. All in all (evidently) she really doesn't cope very well with change. Before March last year she had a routine, bottle, quiet time and cuddles and up to bed. March to July she had her own room for the first time, we had some success with bottle cuddle, story in bed. Since July she has been very clingy. Everything has been up in the air, starting kindergarten, changing hours, family coming over and bedtime for both DS and DD out the window.
She has an explosive temper, and when she doesn't get her way all hell breaks loose, she is extremely strong, she can move most furniture and even had doors off their hinges. Our house is a bit odd at the moment and her room is on the other side of a hallway door (along with our bedroom, but not DS' room) she will not play in her room any time of day alone at all. At present she will either fall asleep on the bean bag in the living room with us maybe about 10-11, I have to take to her to my bed and move her once she is asleep, and sometimes she will just ask to go to her bed.
Since moving here I have been at home with the children, but next month I am starting a now job. We must get bedtime sorted. Does anyone have any ideas how to bring in a manageable routine, with emphasize on making it easy for her?
I would start with a short routine that suits you all. Don't make it too complicated. So maybe bath- PJs -story -bed. Or PJs - small snack - story - bed. Whatever works for you and her really. A HV once told me to instigate the routine first at a time when you know she'll be tired. So maybe 9ish for you at first. Once she's got used to the idea that her routine = bedtime, you can gradually move it forward.
Our house layout is a little weird, and it will be sorted in the longer term. We have a "2 generation house" My parents have a flat downstairs, you come up the stairs and there is my bedroom and our daughters (and more stairs to the loft conversion we're working on) and then a stud wall with a door, the rest of our house is behind the door. The wall will come down and the stairs boxed in so it will be all as one. She doesn't like being on the other side of the door.
She will play in her room, (which she actually loves her room now, as I decorated it for her which was a big deal, as we've always rented and she could never have the room she wanted) If I'm putting washing away in my room or something, she will play but keep coming to check I'm still there, I can sit for hours with her in her room and she's fine. She also has an interlinking door to our sons room, which we open during the day and that's fine, but at night time we have to shut it. It's when she has to go on her own past the the big door that she doesn't like. She is MEGA clingy at the moment, everything is about me, she used to have a wonderful relationship with my dad, but that has all but disappeared.
I know we must have a routine for her, but I think I'm being a little too emotional about it all, I don't want her to feel alone or uncomfortable and just giving in to all demands for my attention and silly things, like taking her to bed with me.