Bedtime Routines

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.

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