Studies* have shown that a consistent bedtime routine is associated with better sleeping habits in young children.
We have found it best to create a bedtime routine that we can recreate when we are traveling. It is also important for us to have a routine that we can “modify” when we are running late.
Our typical bedtime routine for the Champ (age 3) is as follows:
- He takes his clothes to the dirty clothes basket.
- He goes to the big boy potty.
- We check the refrigerator for checkmarks and get spankings if we have any (this is our current discipline method).
- The Champ cleans up his room
- We give the Champ his daily “allowance” (three coins) to keep or put in a jar to donate
- The Champ takes his vitamins and brushes his teeth.
- We read our Bible story.
- We have “brother time.” (We place the Rookie in the Champ’s bed so they can have a moment to bond).
- We read a short story out loud and if time allows, the Champ tells the plot of the story to the Coach.
- We say our prayers.
- I tell the Champ goodnight and leave the room with the Rookie.
- The Coach prays over the Champ and tells him goodnight.
On a typical night, this routine takes 20 minutes. When we need a shorter routine we will help the Champ clean his room, do a shorter period of “brother time,” and read a shorter story.
What does your bedtime routine look like?
*For further reading: Mindell JA, Li AM, Sadeh A, Kwon R, Goh DY. Bedtime routines for young children: a dose-dependent association with sleep outcomes. SLEEP 2015;38(5):717–722.