How to Develop Your Children’s Bedtime Routines

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Sleep is an important part of our lives, especially when our bodies are still developing. Human sleep patterns are regulated by what are called our circadian rhythms, also known as the sleep-wake cycle. This schedule is regulated by the light and dark, which is when your pituitary gland starts to produce melatonin, the hormone that regulates your circadian rhythms.

Newborns haven’t developed rhythms yet so they tend to sleep and walk at irregular hours, which is why mothers and fathers tend to be woken in the middle of the night with newborn baby. Six weeks in those little brains begin to coordinate the sleep-wake cycle and by six months your child should be set on a rhythm.

Children will sleep almost half of their little lives and when they are as young as two they likely spend more time sleeping than awake. All of this snooze time is imperative to the healthy development of your children mentally and physically. With all this information it is now more than evident that creating a routine so your children go to sleep at the same time every evening is going to benefit your child’s development.

Importance of Routine

When you establish a routine when your children are young, getting them to sleep will not be difficult because their bodies and brains will have adapted and soon all it will take is your nightly rituals to see them yawn. The typical things you want to put into your routine would include bathing, brushing their teeth, and praying if you are a family that practices religion.

None of these things are fun in the mind of a child, so to coax them into one of those best rated mattress brands you purchased when they graduated from a crib to a big-person bed, using fun ideas could go a long way, and get the sleeping children that you want. If you have toddlers or young children and haven’t stuck to a routine thus far don’t worry, it’s never too late to create good habits.

Announce It

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We don’t mean that you should stand in the middle of your home and scream out that it’s almost bedtime for the hidden ears of your children to pick up on. Unless you make a game out of it and it’s fun for you and your children then by all means. By “announcing it” we mean that let your children know it’s time to start getting prepared for the inevitable; bedtime.

One idea is to start running their bath water so they can make the association. Maybe you can create a fun way for them to start putting away their toys. There are mothers and fathers who use an egg time set for five minutes. This way the children hear the bell and know, time’s up. Most importantly, set the rule and don’t falter because routines are not made when giving in a couple times a week.

Snack Time

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If approached with some cheese and multi grain crackers every night your child might start looking forward to bedtime as a good thing opposed to something they want to resist. Not only that, extra carbs at bedtime, the healthy ones, will make your child sleepy and help them stay asleep until morning.

Bath Time

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This will raise your child’s body temperature just enough so make them sleepy. Add a few toys to make this time enjoyable and to relax your child with doing something they love.

Brushing Time

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Clean those teeth. This is important but sometimes the toughest chore to get done. If we didn’t make it seem like such a hassle, and created a fun way to approach brushing our teeth then you might not get any resistance. You can sing a made up song or create one together while you both brush your teeth. Seeing you do it too could make this a thing you do together?

Pajama Time

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Getting ready for bed can be fun too, of course we realize that singing a song and constant smiling will not reach every child. But the constant theme for all these necessary steps of the routine is to not make it out to be a negative but something positive.

One way could be to let your children choose the pajamas they want to wear. They may favor their Spider-Man PJ’s or Barbie, whatever the case may be. If they want to wear the same pajamas every night and you have the means, get more than one pair. If it gets them into bed then it’s a win-win situation for all of you.

Story Time

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This could be established earlier in the routine as the big reward for completing all the other targeted tasks. If your child has a favorite book read it to them. Again and again if you have to. Even though it can get monotonous the soothing sound of your voice will lull them to sleep.

Reading to your child has more benefits than putting them into a deep sleep. When you read tales to your toddler you are helping them stretch their imagination, which is an amazing tool to have developed when you are an adult. You will encourage their love of reading, which is much healthier for the brain than watching a screen.

Story time will create special memories and if you find that your children are creative try creating a story together with a blank notebook and some colored crayons. This could be nothing but a positive experience for any child.


We care about your health too, and getting your children to sleep at the same time every night will give you time to unwind from your day. Just remember that you need to stick the rules and not waver. Children are smart and if they get any idea that you can be persuaded to falter then you can kiss your dreams of a routine good-bye.

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