6 Steps to Establishing a Good Bedtime Routine

It’s 8:00 in the evening and your child is wide awake, refusing to go to bed. You’ve tried everything – reading a story, singing a lullaby, even cuddling with them – but nothing has worked. Or, perhaps your child keeps getting out of bed for one last hug, one last drink, one more time on the potty! What can you do to stop with the bedtime battles? Here are some great tips for establishing a good bedtime routine for kids that will help you both relax!

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Why Bedtime Routines Are Important

Are bedtime routines important? Yes! A good bedtime routine can help kids relax and prepare for bed, which in turn will help them get a better night’s sleep. Kids who follow a bedtime routine not only fall asleep more easily, but also wake less often during the night and sleep longer. There are several other benefits of bedtime routines for your child as well.

Bedtime Routine for Kids

Establishing a good bedtime routine for kids can be tricky, but it’s worth the effort. It will take consistency as well. Here are some tips for creating a bedtime routine that works for your family, adults and children alike.

1. Simple rules

Establish simple rules and stick to them. For example, everyone in the house should be in bed by a certain time each night. The younger your child, the shorter and simpler the bedtime routine, the better. Children do become more flexible as they get older.

2. Talk it over

Make sure kids understand what will happen during their bedtime routines as you begin to establish one. If necessary, talk them through it several times in the day leading up to bedtime. Knowing what to expect will help them so much!

3. Start 30 minutes prior

Start implementing the bedtime routine about 30 minutes before bedtime. This will give everyone enough time to wind down and fall asleep. This could include getting a drink, brushing teeth, putting on pajamas, going to the bathroom, and a story or devotional.

4. Be consistent

Keep the routine consistent from night to night. This will help especially the younger kids feel more relaxed and secure. Children thrive on routine and consistency. Now, this isn’t to say you can never break the routine if you’re doing something special, but we are talking on a normal, day-to-day basis.

By sticking to the routine, you will help your kids get in a good sleep pattern and become more comfortable with their routine. This is not the time to let them get up 50 times for a drink. Once they are in bed, they need to stay in bed.

5. Avoid electronics

Avoid watching TV or use electronic devices in the hour or so leading up to bedtime. The blue light emitted by these screens can disrupt sleep cycles. Mama, if you’re going to do some computer work after the kids are in bed, be sure to wear some blue light glasses.

6. Get energy out early

Make sure you all get plenty of exercise during the day. A tired child (or adult) is less likely to have trouble falling asleep at night.

Pinterest pin of tips for establishing a bedtime routine with picture of sleeping toddler

Bedtime Routines for Toddlers

Toddlers can be especially difficult to get to bed at night, but with a little patience and creativity, you can establish a bedtime routine that works for them too. With toddlers, it’s especially important to keep the bedtime routine as simple as possible. Some popular toddler bedtime routines include:

  1. Singing a song or playing music before bed
  2. Cuddling with a favorite blanket, toy, stuffed animal
  3. The Favorite Toy: This routine involves putting away all of the child’s toys except for one favorite toy, which they get to keep with them in bed.
  4. The Bedtime Snack: This routine includes giving toddlers a snack or drink before bedtime. Personally, I wouldn’t recommend drinks during the potty training stage.
  5. The Big Brother/Sister Bedtime: This routine has older siblings help put the younger ones to bed.
  6. The Story Time: This routine involves reading bedtime stories before sleep.

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Kids Bedtime Routine

Children quickly adapt to any routine. If you establish a bedtime routine for them early on it won’t take long before they get used to it and fall into a peaceful sleep. Following the same schedule every night will help them feel secure and avoid bedtime battles. Make sure to be patient and consistent while you’re getting your child used to the new routine.

If this is your first time trying to establish a bedtime routine for kids, remember you need to have patience and be consistent while implementing any new routine. It may take a little bit of time but eventually, both you and your child will benefit from having a good night’s sleep!

Be sure to check out the following:

Reducing Chaos: How to Start a Morning Routine

How to Create a Daily Routine and Stick to It!

Creating a Peaceful Home

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