6 Enjoyable Bedtime Rituals for Children

6 Enjoyable Bedtime Rituals for Children

Make bedtime something your children actually look forward to with these six simple steps.

The battle at bedtime often rages on from toddlers to teens. Instead of insisting on sleep, create a pleasant ritual that readies them to call it a day. From singing a lullaby to reading a book, some of the simplest ideas naturally encourage kids of all ages to settle down and sleep through the night.

Sometimes, little ones are nervous about separating from parents or are scared of the dark. When you spend some special time walking them through the process, it can relieve their fears of being alone. All it takes is 15 to 30 minutes to associate bedtime with sweet moments.

Focus on making this a worthwhile time for both of you. You will be forming a lifelong habit as well as creating some welcome downtime for yourself — so no one in your home suffers any sleep deprivation. Be sure to close down video games and over-stimulating electronics a half-hour before bedtime. Create a transition time with stops in the kitchen and bathroom before reaching the bedroom. Try these suggestions:

1. A Bedtime Snack
Start with a little treat — nothing sugary, of course, or high-calorie. A healthy bite of fruit and yogurt or cheese on a whole-wheat cracker with a bit of warm milk can do the trick. Eating should happen at least 30 minutes before hitting the pillow.

2. Unwind with a Little Tub Time
A warm bubble bath will relax the body naturally. And brushing the teeth is a critical routine, especially after a snack. While their mouths are full of toothpaste foam, begin to speak lower and more slowly. Quieting volume levels can put kids in a bedtime mood.


Become a member of P&G everyday and get exclusive offers!

Become a member

3. Clear Away the Day
Prepare the bed together by putting dolls and plush toys aside. Fluff the pillow and turn down blankets. Choose pajamas while you chat about the day and what’s ahead tomorrow. If there's been a worrisome incident, offer a chance to talk about feelings and let it go. Finish with a highlight of their day to end on a happy note.

4. Storytelling Time
Have your child select a favorite book to read as a nighttime story. This age-old tradition is remembered fondly by everyone — you can even make up a story together. Add some soft soothing music in the background — maybe a lullaby that you can sing along with.

5. Three Wishes
Dim the lights and ask your child to make three wishes on a star — one for themselves and two for others. It’s a great way for them to think of those they love. Offer guidance so the wishes aren’t only about wanting physical things like a new bike. Include things that will add value to their lives, such as going over their school day so they pass a test with flying colors or recall making a nice new friend.

6. Goodnight Hugs
As part of tucking them into bed, snuggle, cuddle and kiss goodnight. Physical affection is key at bedtime.

Consistency is important when creating rituals that calm your child down after a full day, but the emotional connection is even more meaningful. Rather than avoiding much-needed sleep, they will look forward to the day’s end. When bedtime is a breeze, they will wake up in the morning refreshed and in a cheerful mood.

Complete your personal information

Please fill in the information marked with an asterisk to proceed; if you want to get tailored offers and content, don't forget to fill in the optional fields.