How To Create A Bedtime Routine For All Ages

How To Create A Bedtime Routine For All Ages
Christine Brown

Christine Brown

We hear all about how important a bedtime routine is, but do we know why or how to create a bedtime routine?

“Why is it so important?”

“What should I do?”

“Wait, I need one too?”

These questions may all be crossing your mind as you think about creating a soothing routine to promote sleep for both you and your child.

Let’s Get To Answering the Most Popular Bedtime Routine Questions…


Everyone! Newborn babies benefit from a soothing routine as much as babies, toddlers, school-aged children and adults.


For babies, a soothing routine is imperative because it helps to cue their bodies that bedtime is coming.  The consistent set of activities done in the same order becomes a very welcomed, soothing way to help their bodies to switch from play to sleep.

For toddlers and preschoolers, the soothing routine is important because it gives them a chance to wind down from really active play and have connection time with parents or caregivers.  Toddlers and preschoolers are known to love malarkey around bedtime, but if you have a really connecting, consistent soothing routine, it helps to make sleepy time really positive and helps to decrease the bedtime battles.

For school-age children and teenagers, a soothing bedtime routine helps them to switch their brains off, relax and to have some much-needed connection time with parents.

For adults, our brains need the chance to switch gears from the activity and thoughts of the day to prepare us to settle into slumber.


For children and adults, about 30 minutes before bedtime is a good amount of time to dedicate to a soothing routine.  For children who still nap, it is a good idea to allocate 5-15 minutes to a soothing routine before nap periods.

To determine an age-appropriate bedtime for your children so they meet their sleep needs, download this handy chart.


Try to keep the soothing routine moving in the direction of the bedroom or nursery.  All of the soothing activities should be moving you or your little one(s) towards their bed, crib or sleep space, not all over the house!

Is bedtime a little out of control for your toddler or big kid? This printable bedtime routine chart will help…

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Chill Out

First off, shut down all screen time about one hour before children’s bedtimes and at least 30 minutes for teens and adults.  Quiet the house and turn down lights.

Snack Time

For younger children and adolescents alike, they may benefit from a bedtime snack to ensure they have a little something in their stomachs to help them settle into sleep.  Think protein and carbs, like crackers and cheese or nut/sun butter and banana.

For adults, a light snack of a protein and carb is also a good idea.  A cup of sleepy time tea or warm milk is a good bedtime beverage, but avoid caffeine, alcohol and sugary drinks.

Brush Teeth

Enough said.

Wash the day away

Warm water is a great way to calm the body and get children and adults alike ready for bed.

For babies and children, a nice warm bath with a couple drops of lavender essential oil is a great part of a bedtime routine that will relax your child. If you aren’t bathing your baby every day, a sponge bath and a rub down with some calming lotion is a good alternative for non-bath nights.

For teens and adults, a warm shower or bath is a great way to relax the body.

Clean Pajamas

Change your baby or yourself into clean, natural fiber pajamas.

Book & Songs and Tuck In for Babies and Young Children

A great way to continue winding down and connecting is to read a book or two together.  This is a great way to enhance your child’s learning and bond together.  Children also enjoy being sung to or singing with you!  Sing some of your favorite nursery rhymes together.  Our favorites?  You Are My Sunshine; Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star; and Rock-a-bye Baby.

Tuck your little one in, hugs and kisses and a big smile before leaving the room.

Adult Soothing Elements

For adults to relax into bedtime, choose from one or more of the following soothing options:

  • Bedtime yoga
  • Meditation
  • Yoga Nidra guided meditation
  • Reading a book
  • Journaling or jotting down your thoughts to clear your mind
  • Listening to relaxing music, but ensuring that you turn it off before falling asleep
  • Cuddling with your significant other

Need more help than just a bedtime routine? We’re here to help you create healthy sleep habits for your child. Schedule a discovery call now so we can learn more about your challenges and talk about working together to get your whole house sleeping!

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