Tips for a better bedtime + {Tuesday’s Toddler Tales link-up}

If there is one question that just about every parent asks, it is how to get your kids to sleep at night.  I’m not going to write this post pretending that I have the answers.  I’m not sure that I do, but for at least one kid, we have found what works for us.  We are still working on Charlie.  I’ll share our bedtime routines, and then some tips to hopefully help you and your kids be well rested.

Encouraging good sleep habits in toddlers

While the timing for each of the kids is different, the routine is the same.  We don’t do bath time every night, and we don’t do it as part of our bedtime routine.  That has never worked out for us, they come out of the tub begging for a snack!  Here’s our routine for Maggie {3 years old} and Charlie {18 months old}.


We set the time for 5 minutes and clean as many toys up before it goes off as we can.  Then, bathroom, pajamas, and brush teeth.  Then, we sit together, each kids gets to pick out a few stories, and we read and talk about them.  When story time is over, it’s time for bed.  I put each of them to bed individually, and we have a few minutes of “talk time” where we talk about something that happened that day that we loved, or that made us sad, or even mad.  We just recap on the day and talk about what we will do the next day.  Then, we say our prayers, give kisses and hugs, say I love you and go to sleep.  In a nutshell, that’s what we do.  Charlie still nurses so it doesn’t go quite like that, but we are working on it.


If you are struggling with sleep, or just trying to get into a routine, here are some tips.

Encouraging good sleep habits in toddlers, Tuesday's Toddler Tales

Bathtime – For many people, this helps get their kids ready for bed.

Reading time – I just love reading so much, so this is one of my favorite parts of the day.

Know how much sleep they should get.  Toddlers generally should have between 10-12 hours a night.

Find the right bedtime.  This can be the trickiest part.  If your childs bedtime is too late, it can result in meltdowns.  If it’s too early, your child won’t be ready to sleep and may have trouble falling asleep.

Lots of physical activity during the day.  It helps adults sleep better, makes sense that it helps the kids too, right?

Play soft music.  I have always played the sound machine with a lullaby on while the kids are in bed.  When we use to get ready for bed upstairs, I turned it on before we started getting ready to signal it was almost time for bed.

Help them find a security object.  It could be a blanket, a doll, a shirt of yours, or something else completely.

Prayer.  We always say a short bedtime prayer asking God to help them have a peaceful night sleep.  We also use this time to thank God for the things that have happened that day.

Have a consistent routine.  For the most part, what you do isn’t as important as you doing it consistently.  PJ’s, potty, brush teeth, stories, bed.  That’s what we do.  As I tuck them into bed, I talk to them for a couple minutes about our day because it provides some extra snuggle time with each child individually.


These are some of my sleep tips.  I can’t wait to hear yours, so spill – what tips do you have for helping toddlers sleep?

Tuesday's Toddler Tales

Each week we are linking up for Tuesday’s Toddler Tales.  This week’s topic is Bedtime Routines.  Next week we are talking about our stress relievers.  Link up any post, old or new.


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