An Awesome, Simple Solution for Bedtime Struggles

An Awesome, Simple Solution for Bedtime Struggles

If you’re exhausted from bedtime battles, this trick can change your world.


By Lorraine Allen

If you’re like me, and you’ve been ending your days in epic bedtime struggles with your little ones instead of enjoying some hard-earned downtime while they sweetly slumber, here’s a tip you’ll definitely want to try. It’s a proven solution from parenting experts that helps kids wind down with far less resistance, so everyone can catch some more Zs and end the day with less stress. It’s called a Bedtime Pass, and it works like magic. Seriously.

First, you have to make the pass out of paper or an index card. It can be as simple or elaborate as you like and your child can decorate it by herself, too. I punched a hole in ours and then hung it on a long ribbon so we can keep it on my kid’s doorknob and she always knows where it is.

How it works: This pass offers kids some relief from struggling with bedtime because it allows them to share your perceived control over going to bed, which kids resist. The pass allows them to get up one time if they need you or need something urgently, like (another) glass of water or hug, or one last question or trip to the bathroom. But it sets a clear limit for everyone: One time is fine, and valid. But that’s it. And that’s fair.

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Kids buy into this system because they relish the control they are given with this card, and it changes their perception. Instead of kids thinking of bedtime as a “you versus me” struggle, the pass makes it seem more like you’re in it together. They retain some control while still having the ability to seek out parental reassurance if they need it.

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Studies have repeatedly shown the pass to eliminate bedtime meltdowns immediately, and stop kids from constantly crying out or getting up often, too. Parents, pediatricians, and kids, when asked during studies if they thought the card worked, agreed that it was effective in reducing bedtime struggles significantly, all around. And that’s definitely something we can all enjoy.

How do you resolve kids’ bedtimes woes?


Lorraine Allen is a writer and mom to one spunky first grader and one squirrel-obsessed dog. You can follow their allergy-friendly cooking adventures at Feeding Lina.

Image ©iStock.com/Christopher Futcher


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