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Sleep Routines

Kids Play
  • Getting good sleep makes huge positive differences to family relationships

  • The earlier you can initiate sleep routines in your child's life the better sleep everyone is likely to get

  • Following the same routine every day as much as possible, underpinned with rituals helps

  • Supports such as night lights, leaving the door open, having a teddy to cuddle or a story to listen to can help

  • If kids are genuinely frightened or can't sleep, you may like to pat them for a time until they settle. But don't make conversation unless you want them to stay awake

Step Three: While a bath is running get your children to pick the book they want read in bed. That way as soon as they're out of the bath, dried and dressed in pyjamas they know they've got something to look forward to. I used to let them pick a second book each if they were cooperative.

Bath Time

Step Five: Get comfortable, ideally with all the children together.

Read the first book.

Discuss the good things that happened to each of you that day. This helps to create a calm attitude before attempting sleep.

Step Six: Read the second book and maybe a third depending upon how much time you have.

Toddler Peeking Over Bed Quilt2

There used to be a small interlude on our local T.V. channel after the news/current affairs when "Big Dog" told all of the children it was time to go to bed.


You may be able to find similar on You Tube. If you copy and paste the following link into Youtube the first song Sweet Dreams is a nice one if you can't find one of your own.

The idea is to prompt your child to go to bed at a reasonable time.

Step One: After dinner take all plates to the sink.

Step Two: It's a great time to brush teeth shortly after meals. If parents model the behaviour they want in their children all the better.

Girl Brushing Dad's Teeth

Step Four: Just before getting into bed get your child to go to the toilet, wash their hands. And say 'It's story time.'

Bathroom Tiles

Step Seven: Kiss your children, tell them you love them and tuck each of them in. Leave the door to the bedroom open so they feel safe. It may help some children to have soft music playing, or I had told stories they could listen to as they fell off to sleep.

Routines are about expectations. If you make the expectation that going to bed is a positive experience, you have more likelihood of establishing a good routine with your children.

And the more you do it the same every night, the more your children will learn the routine.


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This website provides examples of what worked for me over decades and you are welcome to use these ideas as you see fit but you do so at your own risk. Best Parenting does not provide any guarantee that this information will work in every circumstance with every family or with every child. It is your responsibility as a user of this website to ensure that you adhere to any recommended safety suggestions either implicit or explicit on this site and supervise your children while playing any games suggested. Similarly users of this website are advised to follow any recommendations for seeking professional advice as all information on this site is generic. Best Parenting is an independent website and is not affiliated with any other groups, clubs, religious organizations or educational systems.


Best parenting takes time. The best parenting advice ever is simple: Do your best, don't give up and love your children, no matter what.

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