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Setting Up a Good Bedtime Ritual


If there’s one person who can pull at your heartstrings, it’s your toddler. Seeing them sad breaks your heart, but sometimes you need to push through this melancholy for their own benefit.

One of these situations is bedtime. Often your toddler will try to stall bedtime, but you need to be firm and help them to develop a sleep-time ritual. Bedtime rituals are important for all people – not just toddlers. However, like with most things, it affects toddlers more significantly than older people. If you have a consistent ritual, it should be much easier for your toddler to fall asleep quickly. Beyond this, certain rituals are good for the sake of turning good practices into habits. Here are some pointers for developing a good bedtime ritual.

Start Early

Don’t rush the ritual. Give your toddler enough time to calm down, and they will be readier to sleep when the time arrives. Otherwise, you’ll be stuck with an active toddler bursting with unwanted energy.

Keep it Up

Even if it isn’t popular at first, a good bedtime ritual is important. Your toddler may not like it at the start, but they’ll get used to it. The whole point of a ritual is consistency, so don’t keep changing things up.

Avoid the Enemies of Sleep

Don’t put yourself at a disadvantage. If you’re trying to get your toddler to sleep, don’t give them sugary drinks, play loud music, or do anything else that will encourage being awake.

Read… but not too much

Bedtime stories are great for getting your toddler ready for sleep. The sound of your voice and the story soothes them, calming them down and keeping them still. Be careful though – many toddlers will try to keep you reading for as long as possible, and keeping them out of sleep. Put your foot down, or else you’ll be reading for hours!

Published 04 Sep 23

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