The importance of bedtime is probably highly underrated. The timing of bedtime can strongly influence how night sleep goes and what time your child gets up the next morning. For the original answers, see this post. Readers also answered on Facebook.
What age is your child?
3 Months: 1
4 Months: 1
6 Months: 1
7 Months: 1
8 Months: 4
9 Months: 1
12-15 Months: 2
16-17 Months: 1
18-23 Months: 6
2 Year Old: 6
3 Year Old: 4
4 Year Old: 6
5 Year Old: 2
6 Year Old: 1
9 Year Old: 1
What time is your child’s bedtime?
What time does you child get up each morning?
What is your bedtime routine?
- potty, PJs, teeth, Bible story, prayers
- diaper, PJs, sleep sack, nurse, burp and sing, sound machine, paci, in bed
- PJs, teeth, two books, two songs
- At 6:30 (6:15 on bath nights) we go upstairs. Each child goes to the bathroom, brushes teeth and brushes their hair. Then we put on pajamas and read books. Individually we say prayers with each child and sing them a good night song. Lights out, sound machine on, and say good night.
- bath, read books, sing a few songs
- At 6:30 the older two get on pajamas, brush teeth, and go potty. The 5 yr old can then play by herself while Daddy takes the 2 yr old to his room and Mommy starts bedtime for baby. Daddy will read a short bible story, a book, sing a song, give a last drink, hugs and kisses. Repeat with 5 year old. Meanwhile, about 6:45, Mommy takes baby to bedroom, changes into pajamas and sleep sack, nurses and sings a song. When baby is done nursing, into bed. Mommy then goes into 5 yr old and says a prayer and hugs and kisses.
- Babies: nurse, then down for bed. 2 year old: short picture book, then down for bed. 4 year old: 1 chapter from chapter book (read in bed) then down for bed. We start reading at 7pm so her bedtime is more like 7:15.
- Nursing, wash face, into night diaper/jammies, milk (we’re slowly weaning), brush teeth, then prayer and into bed.
- What is your bedtime routine? No real routine. Give the lovey, white noise good night and lights out. Makes it way easier when putting down at other places .
- Each child gets a bath with Daddy and PJs. Baby gets his bedtime feed. Toddler gets his teeth brushed. Baby gets two songs and a prayer. Toddler gets a few board books, same two songs and prayer. Gets friends and loveys and tucked in. Both get sleepsacks, a dark room, and white noise.
- Feed at 530 and 630. Sing in between or other activities that are calm such as bath time or reading
- Bath time at 5:00/5:15, story and/or baby Mozart music 5:30 while feeding, then he falls asleep
- Bath milk story prayer bed.
- pjs, brush teeth, story and song, prayers, off to bed (there’s a daniel song for that)
- Bath at 6:30, play in room, read 2 books, prayers, song, and night night
- Sometimes bath, cuddles, book, then we sing and pray and I lay him down/nurse, diaper, get swaddled, nurse again, down for bed
- teeth, shower/bath, pajamas, story. The 9yo does some quiet time in his room before turning his lights out at 7:30, the younger two get tucked in
- dinner, bath every other nite, brush teeth and jammies, story and bed.
- Change diaper, put on bedtime lotion, put on pj’s, brush teeth, read a book, pray, sound machine on.
- Bath at 5:30, dinner, some downtime, read Bible, prayers, kiss goodnight and then put him down in the crib.
- I start around 6:30 by bathing one of the two kids while the other one plays (though recently, they started sharing a bath tub so I can combine them — hooray!). By 7, kids are done with baths and dressed for bed. Older one has brushed her teeth as well. The older one hovers around me until I chase her out (after the baby’s last bottle) and she goes to play with her daddy in the other room while I read to the baby. I change the baby’s diaper again and put on his Halo Sleepsack, turn off the lights, brush his teeth, and sing a few songs/pray/lullaby to him. Then he goes to bed and falls asleep right away, as he’s a morning person and actually enjoys bedtime. The older one gets her story time one-on-one with me after that, and then it’s prayer, song, hugs and kisses, night-night.
How often do you have an altered bedtime for any reason?
1 Time Per Week: 16
1-2 Times Per Week: 5
How does your child respond when bedtime time is off? How does sleep go that night and how is the next morning?
Grumpy That Night: 1
Not Good!: 1
Not Well–Wakes Early Next Morning: 2
Wakes Early Next Morning: 4
A Little Fussier Next Day: 4
Wakes During Night: 2
Handles It Okay: 3
Handles It Very Well: 12
Handles It Well And Might Sleep In: 1
One Night Is Okay, But Two Leads to Poor Sleep and Crying: 9
What do you do that makes bedtime go smoother?
- same routine every night, she pitched a lot of fits at bedtime from ages 2-4 but now is finally better
- Exact same routine is important to him.
- make sure he doesn’t get overtired
- we find that if we go up to bedtime in a good mood (at least not crying) then the routine goes more smoothly and not as long as if he’s upset about something
- Keep the same routine always.
- Keep a routine and stick with bed times the majority of the time. Unless its just really late, still do the read and sing routine, even if shortened, to give them a few minutes to calm down and relax before lights out.
- Same routine night after night. If there is any major stalling, non compliance, fussing we take away reading the book. Most always, the warning about it does the trick.
- Communicate expectations and be willing to enforce them (NEVER BACK DOWN).
- We try to keep the same routine every night that we can.
- Goes to sleep fine, wakes a little earlier, not too many issues. If I’m concerned with him going down, I’ll do a bath first.
- We’ve had the same routine more or less since birth for both boys. Same songs, same order, prayers – our boys know what to expect and they calm down as we go through the bedtime motions.
- Music and a warm sponge bath or bath. Knock on wood bedtime has been this way since day 3, and works awesome trouble is I can’t seem to extend it out cuz he’s a sleepy boy
- Consistency. Keeping the same order of things to get those sleep cues going.
- 1. start early so it’s not too rushed. 2. have clear expectations- my 4 year old puts on her own pjs. if she plays around too much she misses story time bc we don’t wait for her to start. if I had time to dress 2 little ones, she had plenty of time to dress herself. We also have a set number of hugs and kisses given at bedtime.
- We have always had a routine since day one. It’s changed over time, but always always the same routine every night. We even let babysitters know.
- Putting the littlest to bed 30 minutes before the older leaves me to be able to give the older one undivided attention. Even if little one doesn’t sleep I leave him to fuss while I tend to the older one, he deserves that time and he sleeps much better after having that time.
- the same thing every night. If it wasn’t a special event, the bedtime routine really never changes at all.
- we stick to the routine
- Try not to rush it and make sure we have time to read a book and goof off before bed.
- We keep it consistent and try to recreate as much as possible when traveling.
- I try to do what I can with both kids at once. Both kids get dressed at once, both kids are now bathing at once, and sometimes they get the same bedtime story which means I don’t read to my daughter after her brother goes to bed. That’s on my Mommy nights! LOL That’s rare, though.
Any thoughts or advice on bedtime and its importance?
- Her attitude throughout the day tells me she needs more sleep and she always falls asleep IMMEDIATELY when we put her in bed. Hubby won’t allow an earlier bedtime because he wants to spend time with them after work. We like the bedtime routine to be quality time with the child but that means we need to have plenty of time (start early) so we aren’t rushing and getting upset with them.
- It is a sweet time with him as long as we are not in a rush and follow the routine perfectly! Also, a tired child is less cooperative so it’s best to start BEFORE he gets tired.
- put them to bed before they seem tired!
- Sleep train so you’re not having to put them to sleep but understand that they go through stages and sometimes they’ll need extra snuggles or “one more hug”
- Since my kids do not do well with later bedtimes, we know we may have to leave parties early and we do not make late night plans for them.
- I function best when I have a bedtime routine and go to bed at a fairly consistent time, and my kids definitely do as well. We leave functions early or skip out altogether sometimes. However, as they are getting older, there is more room for flexibility. To those with babies and younger toddlers, I would remind them that it is a season!
- My children are so much more better behaved when they have had a long night. They can control their emotions better. It is also very helpful for yourself and your marriage. Being able to do a hobby after bedtime, relax with your husband, grab coffee with a friend, etc helps me be a better mom.
- I seriously get anxiety when I think about my kids eventually needing later bedtimes. I LOVE LOVE LOVE that they go to bed so early and I have time alone with my husband to relax and unwind. Early bedtimes are the best. I know at some point our kids will go to bed a little later, but we are soaking up the time now.
- Daily morning Wake time is the most important thing about bed time. Also have them sleep in a pack nnplay every so often so u can take them with u for later evenings at friends from time to time. So nice to have this opportunity!
- Children experience a lot of comfort and security through routine and our boys find their beds a soothing, restorative place. I think the bedtime routine has been really essential to that and both my boys, while very different in personality, are both great sleepers.
- Still working on this to figure out perfect timing but know a routine is important
- Even if you don’t have solid naps a solid bedtime plus routine is important but if the time changes that ok they need to be flexible , in fact do something to switch the time up now and then on purpose for that reason… but the most important is the routine.(music warm bath etc)
- on a typical day I actually start gearing up for bed time as early as 4pm. Meaning I get the house ready. Choose quiet activities for the evening. Dinner prepped and on the table for the kids by 6pm. Time with dad. Bath by 7. Milk and stories by 730. Lights out by 8pm. Works like clockwork.
- 1. It’s better for our kids to be in bed 10 minutes early, rather than 10 minutes late. 2. Since our kids are young, we make bedtime a priority. This means we say no to lots of things, but as they are getting older we can stretch and say yes to more. It’s worth the temporary sacrifice!
- To us, bedtime sets a precedent for the next day and that’s why it’s important to us. Our babies are just happier on their routine so we adjust around it to a certain extent.
- When you have 4 kids, having a predictable “time off” is very important not only for yourself but also for your marriage. I’m not sure I could function without my nightly shower and wind-down time with my husband. I certainly wouldn’t be a happy person without those things lol
- My kids need far earlier bedtimes than what the world around me would suggest. We’ve tried later ones for consistent periods of time and it does not go well. If an earlier bedtime works better for your child and family, it’s beneficial to the child and family to use it.
- A regular and early bedtime makes for a happy child and happy parents
- Consistent bedtime is so important when sleep training and should be started right away. Create a routine that they can get used to so they know what’s coming, but don’t make it so rigid that if you’re away you can’t keep the same routine or that if it has to be different, that they can’t handle that.
- We think it’s very important for us because he is happier. We don’t compromise on his bedtime.
- Setting up a bedtime is critical for your sanity, to be honest. You NEED to be consistent as much as possible for good results and good sleep. And every child responds differently. My kids are as opposite as can be, with one a morning person, and the other a night owl. With one child, he falls asleep right away; the other one needs firm rules at bedtime or she will play at all hours of the night if you let her. But with a good night’s sleep, both of my kids function very well — as do I! A good bedtime routine with repeated nightly rituals is quite comforting to both kids and moms! I know I for one cherish every step of it because I know *I* also get to go to sleep soon. LOL