How to Make Your Children Go to Bed Earlier

How to Make Your Children Go to Bed Earlier

Having your children fall asleep earlier has a number of benefits for both you and them. For the children, it means that they will be well rested and be able to perform better in activities the following day. For you, it means you will have more time to yourself at night and that you will have more time to rest as well. When your child is used to staying up later, it can be difficult to change their schedule. However it is possible to move their bedtime up earlier through changes in routine and by making bedtime more fun.

Method 1 of 3:
Method 1 of 3: Setting up a Nighttime Routine

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1
Begin to slow things down after dinner. Experts suggest that all stimulating activities should be avoided after eating. Children should also avoid eating big meals close to bed time, and they should not have any caffeinated drinks. [1] X Research source Caffeine is a stimulant that makes it difficult to sleep, and going to bed on a full stomach can be uncomfortable because of acid build up. Eating and drinking right is the first step towards bedtime. [2] X Research source
Image titled Make Your Children Go to Bed Earlier Step 2
2
Establish a set of activities before bed. This should include the normal bedtime preparations, such as taking a bath or washing hands, brushing teeth and getting into their pajamas. There are other activities you can try however, that will help close out the day. Thirty minutes is a good amount of time to spend on these activities. [3] X Research source Try reading a story to your child. Listen to some quiet music. Have you children help their stuffed animals to bed. Try coloring for a little while. Play with a puzzle. Have your child lay out his or her clothes for the following day. Call his or her grandparents and say goodnight. Talk with one another.
Image titled Make Your Children Go to Bed Earlier Step 3
3
Get your children to bed. Warn your children that bed time is in five minutes, but you can give them the option to go immediately. Make sure their bed is ready for your children with their favorite blanket or toy and tuck your children in so they are comfortable. These steps will help your child know its bedtime. [4] X Research source Try to maintain a comfortable temperature in the bedroom, somewhere around 72 degrees Fahrenheit.
Image titled Make Your Children Go to Bed Earlier Step 4
4
Be kind. Your child may ask for several things at bed time, and you should not be worried about fulfilling their requests because the first few are probably legitimate. As you continue to develop your nighttime routine, try to work your child's demands into the nighttime procedure. If your children expresses fears at bed time, you should reassure them that there is nothing to worry about. [5] X Research source If you child is scared of the dark, turn off the lights and sit with him or her until their fears are overcome. You can also use a nightlight.
Image titled Make Your Children Go to Bed Earlier Step 5
5
Stay firm. When you say goodnight and walk out of the bedroom, you need to mean it. If your child calls to you after you have left, wait a while to respond so that your child knows it is bedtime. If you child wakes up at night and comes to visit you, calmly walk him or her back to their bedroom and explain that it is still bedtime. [6] X Research source
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Method 2 of 3:
Method 2 of 3: Making It Fun

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1
Have a lights out time. Set a quiet mood in the house by turning the lights off early you can even have a candle light dinner. Follow this with a dimly lit bath time when your children prepare for bed. After bed time preparations, hand out flashlights to your children and have a story time in bed. All of this helps create a sleepy atmosphere in the house and can help your children fall asleep sooner. [7] X Research source
Image titled Make Your Children Go to Bed Earlier Step 7
2
Play hide and seek. Try hiding all of your children's nighttime gear around the house; hide his or her pajamas on a coat rack, his or her toothbrush in the food closet, and his or her toothpaste in the refrigerator, for instance. Your child will have fun running around the house looking for all his or her nighttime gear, and it will help to get him or her ready for bed sooner. [8] X Research source
Image titled Make Your Children Go to Bed Earlier Step 8
3
Have a racing game every night. Tell your children that the last one into bed each night has a number of tasks to do: turn off all of the lights in the house, lock all of the doors (make sure to have an adult double-check the locks), and close all of the blinds. Make sure your children do not fight or cheat. This activity will help your children want to get in bed sooner by tiring them out!
Image titled Make Your Children Go to Bed Earlier Step 9
4
Try a twist on "Simon says". Simon says is a game where a person instructs someone to do something by saying "Simon says..." before the command. If the person does not say "Simon says" before a command, it is not valid. Before bed, say "Simon says find your favorite pajamas" and "Simon says brush your teeth". Go through the whole nightly routine like this to add some fun to bed time. Games such as this will help reduce your child's unwillingness to go to bed.
Image titled Make Your Children Go to Bed Earlier Step 10
5
Implement a reward system. Each time your children go to bed at the time you specify, give them a star. When a child has achieved five stars give them a gift, something like a candy bar or small toy. This will add incentive for the children to go to bed when you tell them to.
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Method 3 of 3:
Method 3 of 3: Learning the Health Benefits of Sleep

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1
Realize the difficulties and understand that you are not alone. Getting your child to fall asleep earlier, or fall asleep at all, can be difficult. It is a struggle that all parents go through at one point or another, however. Medical professionals stress the importance of sleep for all age groups, so it is important that your children get to bed at a reasonable time. [9] X Research source
Image titled Make Your Children Go to Bed Earlier Step 12
2
Remember why sleep is important for children. Experts note that the proper amount of sleep helps children fight off illness, think clearly, avoid mood swings, and even helps them grow. Some studies suggest that less sleep may result in obesity. So when you have to put your children to bed earlier at night, remember all the positive effects of sleeping. It is important that you know how much sleep you children should be getting as well. [10] X Research source One to three month olds should sleep 10.5 - 18 hours per day. Three to eleven month olds should sleep 9 - 12 hours per day. One to three year olds should sleep 12 - 14 hours per day. Three to five year olds should sleep 11 - 13 hours per day. Five to twelve year olds should sleep 10 - 11 hours per day. Twelve to eighteen year olds should sleep at least 8.5 hours per day.
Image titled Make Your Children Go to Bed Earlier Step 13
3
Encourage sleep. Doctors suggest that sleep be prioritized, and not just for your children but for the whole family as well. Children today have very busy schedules loaded with activities. However, do not be afraid of missing out on one activity in favor of an extra 15 or 30 minutes of sleep. Sleep could have greater long term benefits.
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Method 1 of 3:
Method 1 of 3: Setting up a Nighttime Routine

Image titled Make Your Children Go to Bed Earlier Step 1
1
Begin to slow things down after dinner. Experts suggest that all stimulating activities should be avoided after eating. Children should also avoid eating big meals close to bed time, and they should not have any caffeinated drinks. [1] X Research source Caffeine is a stimulant that makes it difficult to sleep, and going to bed on a full stomach can be uncomfortable because of acid build up. Eating and drinking right is the first step towards bedtime. [2] X Research source
Image titled Make Your Children Go to Bed Earlier Step 2
2
Establish a set of activities before bed. This should include the normal bedtime preparations, such as taking a bath or washing hands, brushing teeth and getting into their pajamas. There are other activities you can try however, that will help close out the day. Thirty minutes is a good amount of time to spend on these activities. [3] X Research source Try reading a story to your child. Listen to some quiet music. Have you children help their stuffed animals to bed. Try coloring for a little while. Play with a puzzle. Have your child lay out his or her clothes for the following day. Call his or her grandparents and say goodnight. Talk with one another.
Image titled Make Your Children Go to Bed Earlier Step 3
3
Get your children to bed. Warn your children that bed time is in five minutes, but you can give them the option to go immediately. Make sure their bed is ready for your children with their favorite blanket or toy and tuck your children in so they are comfortable. These steps will help your child know its bedtime. [4] X Research source Try to maintain a comfortable temperature in the bedroom, somewhere around 72 degrees Fahrenheit.
Image titled Make Your Children Go to Bed Earlier Step 4
4
Be kind. Your child may ask for several things at bed time, and you should not be worried about fulfilling their requests because the first few are probably legitimate. As you continue to develop your nighttime routine, try to work your child's demands into the nighttime procedure. If your children expresses fears at bed time, you should reassure them that there is nothing to worry about. [5] X Research source If you child is scared of the dark, turn off the lights and sit with him or her until their fears are overcome. You can also use a nightlight.
Image titled Make Your Children Go to Bed Earlier Step 5
5
Stay firm. When you say goodnight and walk out of the bedroom, you need to mean it. If your child calls to you after you have left, wait a while to respond so that your child knows it is bedtime. If you child wakes up at night and comes to visit you, calmly walk him or her back to their bedroom and explain that it is still bedtime. [6] X Research source
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Method 2 of 3:
Method 2 of 3: Making It Fun

Image titled Make Your Children Go to Bed Earlier Step 6
1
Have a lights out time. Set a quiet mood in the house by turning the lights off early you can even have a candle light dinner. Follow this with a dimly lit bath time when your children prepare for bed. After bed time preparations, hand out flashlights to your children and have a story time in bed. All of this helps create a sleepy atmosphere in the house and can help your children fall asleep sooner. [7] X Research source
Image titled Make Your Children Go to Bed Earlier Step 7
2
Play hide and seek. Try hiding all of your children's nighttime gear around the house; hide his or her pajamas on a coat rack, his or her toothbrush in the food closet, and his or her toothpaste in the refrigerator, for instance. Your child will have fun running around the house looking for all his or her nighttime gear, and it will help to get him or her ready for bed sooner. [8] X Research source
Image titled Make Your Children Go to Bed Earlier Step 8
3
Have a racing game every night. Tell your children that the last one into bed each night has a number of tasks to do: turn off all of the lights in the house, lock all of the doors (make sure to have an adult double-check the locks), and close all of the blinds. Make sure your children do not fight or cheat. This activity will help your children want to get in bed sooner by tiring them out!
Image titled Make Your Children Go to Bed Earlier Step 9
4
Try a twist on "Simon says". Simon says is a game where a person instructs someone to do something by saying "Simon says..." before the command. If the person does not say "Simon says" before a command, it is not valid. Before bed, say "Simon says find your favorite pajamas" and "Simon says brush your teeth". Go through the whole nightly routine like this to add some fun to bed time. Games such as this will help reduce your child's unwillingness to go to bed.
Image titled Make Your Children Go to Bed Earlier Step 10
5
Implement a reward system. Each time your children go to bed at the time you specify, give them a star. When a child has achieved five stars give them a gift, something like a candy bar or small toy. This will add incentive for the children to go to bed when you tell them to.
Advertisement

Method 3 of 3:
Method 3 of 3: Learning the Health Benefits of Sleep

Image titled Make Your Children Go to Bed Earlier Step 11
1
Realize the difficulties and understand that you are not alone. Getting your child to fall asleep earlier, or fall asleep at all, can be difficult. It is a struggle that all parents go through at one point or another, however. Medical professionals stress the importance of sleep for all age groups, so it is important that your children get to bed at a reasonable time. [9] X Research source
Image titled Make Your Children Go to Bed Earlier Step 12
2
Remember why sleep is important for children. Experts note that the proper amount of sleep helps children fight off illness, think clearly, avoid mood swings, and even helps them grow. Some studies suggest that less sleep may result in obesity. So when you have to put your children to bed earlier at night, remember all the positive effects of sleeping. It is important that you know how much sleep you children should be getting as well. [10] X Research source One to three month olds should sleep 10.5 - 18 hours per day. Three to eleven month olds should sleep 9 - 12 hours per day. One to three year olds should sleep 12 - 14 hours per day. Three to five year olds should sleep 11 - 13 hours per day. Five to twelve year olds should sleep 10 - 11 hours per day. Twelve to eighteen year olds should sleep at least 8.5 hours per day.
Image titled Make Your Children Go to Bed Earlier Step 13
3
Encourage sleep. Doctors suggest that sleep be prioritized, and not just for your children but for the whole family as well. Children today have very busy schedules loaded with activities. However, do not be afraid of missing out on one activity in favor of an extra 15 or 30 minutes of sleep. Sleep could have greater long term benefits.
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