How to Build A Bedtime Routine for Kids

Having a bedtime routine can significantly benefit your child’s sleep. These routines consist of activities performed every night before bed and help your child relax and wind down. By having a predictable pattern, your child will feel more secure and learn to fall asleep on their own.


Studies have shown that children who stick to a bedtime routine tend to fall asleep earlier, take less time to fall asleep, sleep longer, and experience less nighttime waking. These improvements in sleep quality persist into adulthood for those who had bedtime routines as children.


So, how do we make these routines to help our children sleep better? Keep reading with Toley to find out! 

Bedtime Routine for Kids: Dos and Don’ts


  • Consistency Is Key: To ensure the best outcomes, aim to stick to the same bedtime routine for your child every day or as often as possible. Although the routine may change over time as your child grows, try to maintain consistency by starting at the same time and following the same steps. Both parents need to participate in the bedtime routine whenever possible to create a nurturing and secure environment for their child.

  • Keep It Simple And Sweet: A bedtime routine for children typically lasts about 30 minutes or a bit longer if it includes a bath. Keeping the routine lengthy can push back bedtime and make it challenging to stick to when running short on time.
    As your child grows, their bedtime routine will naturally evolve. For instance, while it’s common for a newborn or younger infant to drift off while nursing or drinking a bottle of formula, as they reach 4-5 months old, you can start placing them in their crib drowsy but still awake. This is a gentle and loving way to help them learn to self-soothe and fall asleep on their own.
  • Include Dental Hygiene: Including proper dental hygiene in your child’s bedtime routine each night is an essential habit to establish.

  • Listen To Your Children: It’s okay to offer your child some freedom while you’re in control of the situation. If a part of their bedtime routine isn’t resonating with them, it’s important to pay attention to their concerns and make necessary adjustments. This approach allows for a more collaborative and personalized bedtime experience for your child.


  • Start When They’re Already Sleepy: Starting the bedtime routine before your child is overtired is crucial, as it can lead to increased hyperactivity or irritability, which will make it even more difficult for your child to fall asleep. Try to start the routine before he starts showing signs of exhaustion, such as yawning.

  • Read or Watch Scary Stories: First, avoiding screens is essential since the blue light can provoke sleep problems in children and adults. Also, beware of scary movies or stories before bed since they’re mentally stimulating and can cause night fears. 

  • NO Sweet-Sweet Treats At Bedtime: When it comes to snacks before bedtime, it’s best to choose – NONE! Yes, none. Most sweets contain stimulants that can keep your child awake, that includes chocolate, sodas, and cookies. Keep your child’s tummy healthy and light for the night. Read a story, share the day’s experiences, and express love.