Making a Routine for Kids Bedtime

Are you one of those parents that finds yourself struggling with your children and bedtime? Young kids will come up with several reasons why they should stay up longer. “But Mommy, this show is amazing!” “Daddy, I’m not tired.” Maybe they ask you to read them one more story. Or after playing with their food at dinner; hunger and thirst now suddenly plague them. Children, whose body is ever changing and growing, need their sleep to live healthy lives. Another thing that we as parents need to bear in mind, is children also need consistency. Also, children ache for routine. There are simple solutions to getting your tykes to bed at a decent hour.

First, decide what is the best bedtime for your child. You as a parent can sense how many hours they need. You’re also aware of how long their morning routine takes to know what time they need to be up. Sleepforkids.org suggest that with-in every 24-hour period infants (3-11 months) require 14-15 hours, Toddler (1-3) need 12-14, preschoolers (4-5) require 11-13 hours, and school-aged kids (1st-5th grade) need 10-11 hours to stay healthy. Keeping that in mind, set up nap time and bed time accordingly.

Something I have found to work with my own child is to give him a head’s up for what is coming next in his life. My son is four. I tell him bath time will be in 10 minutes. I then remind him at 5. Same for bedtime. That way your child knows what’s coming. They can subconsciously prepare themselves for what is coming next. And also ask you for the water, snack, or bedtime story they really want.

Of course, perhaps, you may be thinking that this won’t work on your child. They will still wait until the 10 minutes are over to ask for extra things. And you’d probably be right. It takes averagely 30 days for a person to break a habit. But this is where communication comes into play! Ask your child what they would like to do for their remaining 10 minutes. And when those ten minutes are counted down, stick to your guns, and put those kiddies to bed! Once a child is set in their routine they will appreciate it, and it is a good lesson for the future. Parenting is all about trial and error. You will have to experiment with routine based on your child(ren)’s own personality. The thing to keep in mind is consistency, don’t allow yourself night after night to be persuaded to allow your kiddos to stay up later. This will cause you stress and them to lose out on precious well-needed sleep. Pick the pattern that works best for your family and keep to it! Good luck!