- Make a 15-minute tidy-up of the family room or playroom part of your family's bedtime ritual, Novak suggests. You can even set a timer. The payoff: You'll start the next day clutter free.
- Have a routine -- bath, teeth brushing, story, then bed, or whatever works for you -- and stick to it.
- Keep a small cup of water in the bedroom so you can respond quickly to last-minute requests for a drink.
- Team up with Dad. While my husband bathes our 7-month-old, I help my just-washed 2-year-old get into her pajamas and select bedtime stories. My husband and I switch off regularly so we get time with each child.
- Take your own bath or shower at night. "I get a peaceful soak once the kids are in bed," says Karen Webb, of Westfield, New Jersey, mom to 2-year-old Amelia and 4-year-old Lillian. "In the morning, I can just roll out of bed and into my clothes."