A consistent bedtime routine is a great way to ensure that your child gets enough sleep. Different routines suit different children so keep this in mind when you are trying anything new. Below are some helpful tips:

  • The bedroom needs to be a sleeping environment and not a playroom. If possible, store toys elsewhere so they are out of sight and reach of your child.  A busy room can be over-stimulating. In addition, the room needs to be quiet, cool and comfortable for your child.
  • Before bedtime, keep your child involved in calm activities e.g. avoid running or jumping around. It is best, if possible, not to engage in stimulating activities such as too much time playing on iPads or with phones. Although a gentle television programme can be a good way to settle your child in the evening, limit the time spent. A small selection of toys and books can be best. Try to create a calm environment.
  • Stick to a specific time for bed and keep to it every night. It also helps to let your child know that bedtime is approaching about thirty minutes before and again closer to the time – around ten minutes before, so that they understand what is coming and to create a consistent routine.


Bedtime routine:

  • Bath or shower time – a nice warm bath or shower is a soothing experience, and getting your child clean and dry is a great way to ease them into a bedtime routine. However, if your child doesn’t enjoy baths or showers or they make your child too excited, it’s better to leave this until the morning. Give your child’s face and hands a wash instead.
  • Change into their sleep-wear – help your child to get changed into their sleep-wear or pyjamas.
  • Brush teeth – It is important to include tooth-brushing into your child’s evening routine as well as in the morning, so that they learn to look after their teeth properly and to help this to become a lifetime habit.
  • Read a bedtime story – give your child a choice of books from a small selection each night. You may end up reading the same few books for week or so, but repetition is a key part of your child’s learning! Again, if your child becomes too exited instead of calmer, skip this activity at bedtime.
  • Sing a bedtime song just before it is time for your child to sleep – a soothing lullaby or calming song can often help your child to drift off to sleep.
  • Encourage your child to take their favourite blanket or stuffed toy to bed with them. This can help make them feel secure.
  • Night light – These are essential for children who may be frightened of the dark.
  • Say good night – However, do not linger for too long. Try to keep brief so that your child understands that it is time to sleep!