When you have seven children, you simply cannot spend half an hour gently tucking each one in and coaxing them to sleep and hoping each one will stay nighty night.
Well, unless you want to spend three and a half hours doing it every night. In that case, uh, more power to ya, and I should say I don't want to spend that time doing it.
We stagger our bedtimes with the youngest being between the sheets by 8:30, the middles-9:00, and so on.
We don't give baths every single night, but as needed starting an hour before bedtime.
Everyone begins brushing teeth and changing into pajamas about a half hour before bedtime. When they are through, there is time for snuggling before the designated bed time.
At that time, we tell everyone to get into bed, and they hop to it.
I give kisses and tuck in covers before turning out the lights.
That's it. Short and sweet.
In our family, we spend plenty of read aloud time together, including the Bible, throughout the day, so I do not feel the least bit guilty not reading "bed time stories". We also pray together frequently throughout the day, so we do not have a "bedtime prayer".
This is what works for our family.
What works for you?