Routine is important.
Especially, in my opinion, at bedtime. We have followed, from day one with child one, a bath, book, bed kind of routine.
Well, we did in theory, anyway.
Bigger kids now do a bit of their own book and bed thing (or book whilst in bed) and one will shower for many, many hours each morning, forbidding anyone to come anywhere near the bathroom door whilst he is doing so, and the other big one will have a shower at random intervals during the week. He may go for days without one, and is likely to have a screaming tantrum when told, after three days or so, to have one.
The littlest one has a bath when we remember.
Still, brushing teeth before bedtime is a must and usually consists of a routine that encompasses Grumpy Pants and I gently reminding them to do so, followed by umpteen dozen requests to do so, interspersed with phrases such as “No, you cannot stay up and watch this, it is bedtime!” and “No, you cannot play your iPod, it is bedtime” and “You’re not watching this, it’s inappropriate. Besides, it’s bedtime – go and brush your teeth!”
Or … you know, this …