10 tips to establish a solid sleep routine for kids

Beat the bedtime battles.

Establishing a consistent sleep routine is crucial for a child’s overall wellbeing and development. Adequate sleep contributes to their physical health, cognitive function, and emotional stability. However, getting kids to follow a sleep routine can be a challenge for many parents. In this blog, we’ll explore 10 tips to make bedtime smoother and help ensure your child gets the sleep they need. 

 1. Set a consistent bedtime schedule.

Set a fixed bedtime and wake-up time for your child, even on weekends. Consistency helps regulate their internal body clock, making it easier for them to fall asleep and wake up naturally. 

 2. Create a quiet period.

Create a calming wind-down routine before bedtime. This could include activities like reading a book, taking a warm bath, or engaging in quiet play. Avoid stimulating activities or screen time in the hour leading up to bedtime. 

 3. Set up a comfortable sleep environment.

Ensure your child’s bedroom is ideal for sleep. This includes a comfortable mattress, appropriate room temperature, and minimal noise and light. A cozy and clutter-free space can make falling asleep more inviting. 

 4. Try to limit sugar and caffeine, especially before bed!

Try to avoid providing your child with sugary snacks or caffeinated beverages e.g. soft drinks or flavoured milk close to bedtime. These can interfere with their ability to fall asleep and stay asleep throughout the night. 

 5. Limit screen time before bed.

Avoid screens, such as the TV, tablets and smartphones, at least an hour before bedtime. The blue light emitted from screens can disrupt the production of melatonin, which helps the brain respond to darkness, making it harder for your child to fall asleep. Try a screen-free activity instead, such as story time or a board game.

6. Encourage physical activity throughout the day.

Regular exercise during the day can help improve sleep quality. Encourage your child to engage in physical activities during the day, but avoid vigorous exercise too close to bedtime as this can stimulate their nervous system and raise their heart rate too much, making it difficult to fall asleep. 

 7. Offer positive reinforcement and praise. 

Implement a rewards system for sticking to the sleep routine. This could be daily rewards like choosing a bedtime story or larger rewards like a family trip to the beach if the routines are consistently followed.

 8. Offer comfort and lots of cuddles.

If your child has night time fears or anxieties, provide comfort items like a stuffed animal or a nightlight to help them feel secure.

9. Teach time management for older children.

As children get older, involve them in managing their bedtime routine. Things like creating a nighttime checklist of tasks they need to tick off in the lead up to bedtime e.g. shower, brush teeth, get dressed. This teaches responsibility and helps them develop good sleep habits.

10. Lead by example.  

Children often mimic their parent’s behaviours. Show them the importance of a consistent sleep routine by maintaining one yourself. When kids see that sleep is a priority for the whole family, they are more likely to take it seriously. 


Remember that every child is different, and it might take time for a new routine to become a habit. Be patient and persistent as you help your child adjust to their sleep time routine. By following these tips, you can create a bedtime routine that not only helps your child stick to their sleep schedule but also ensures they get the restorative sleep they need for healthy growth and development.  


Sweet dreams!