Bedtime Routines for Children of Various Ages

Children’s bedtimes may be one of the most difficult moments of the day. Parents are exhausted and ready to unwind, but children of all ages seem to have plenty of energy and refuse to sleep.

One more tale, one more trip to the restroom, and one more inquiry rapidly turns into a late-night, and no one gets the sleep they require.

If this occurs frequently, you may begin to question if you and your kid are getting enough sleep and how to make bedtime easy.

Why is getting adequate sleep so important for your child? How does sleep deprivation appear? How can children’s bedtimes be improved?

1. How Sleep Impacts Your Child’s Health

Sleep is an important aspect of keeping healthy, whether you’re young or elderly. Getting the correct quantity of sleep has several advantages, while not getting enough might have negative repercussions. What effect does it have on your child? [1]

  • Brain Function –Sleep is related to a variety of brain processes, including attention, productivity, and cognition. All of these factors have an influence on a child’s behavior and academic achievement.
  • Weight Loss: Sleep habits have an impact on the hormones that control hunger. Sleep deprivation impairs one’s capacity to control food intake, making overeating more likely.
  • Physical Ability: Sleep has an effect on a person’s physical ability. Better performance, focus, vitality, mental clarity, and quickness are all aided by enough rest.
  • Physical Health: Sleep supports physical health in a variety of ways. Sleep not only cures the body but also aids in the prevention of disease and other health problems. Blood pressure will be regulated, heart disease will be prevented, sleep apnea will be reduced, inflammation will be reduced, the immune system will be boosted, and the danger of weight gain will be reduced if you get enough sleep.
  • Improve Mental Health Sleep deprivation has a detrimental effect on mood, social and emotional intelligence. A kid who does not receive enough sleep is more likely to be depressed, lack empathy, and be ignorant of other people’s feelings and behaviors.

Related: How to Get Rid of Insomnia and Sleep Anxiety

2. Sleep, Risky Behavior, and Teens

Teens who are sleep-deprived are more prone to engage in hazardous conduct, according to studies. They’ll have trouble controlling their emotions, making them irritable, aggressive, and rash. Their failure to self-regulate might even be mistaken for ADHD symptoms. [2]

When adolescents are driving, sleep deprivation becomes dangerous. They are more prone to accidents because of their impulsiveness and risk-taking, as well as fatigue. In fact, driving when sleepy is equivalent to driving while inebriated. [3]

It’s easy to understand why sleep is so important for everyone’s health, but how much sleep is required? What do pediatricians have to say about it? Is it the same for every age group?

3. Sleep Recommendations From Pediatricians

The amount of sleep you need depends on your age. It will not be the same for everyone. Some individuals require more sleep than others.

Here’s a quick rundown of what pediatricians currently advise:[4]

  • Ages 4-12 months: 12-16 hours (including naps)
  • Ages 1-2 years: 11-14 hours (including naps)
  • Ages 3-5 years: 10-13 hours (including naps)
  • Age 6-12 years: 9-12 hours
  • Age 13-18 years: 8-10 hours

Increase the amount of sleep if your child isn’t thriving on the recommended amount.

Related: The Basics of Understanding Sleep Disorders

4. Signs Your Child Isn’t Getting Enough Sleep

Aside from the normal grumpiness, there are other methods to detect if your child is getting enough sleep. Here are some things to keep an eye out for: [5]

  • Excessive daytime sleepiness Difficulty getting out of bed on time.
  • Hyperactivity
  • Depression
  • Inattention
  • Swings in mood
  • Aggressive actions
  • Irritability
  • Impatience
  • Controlling your impulses

As you can see, a lack of sleep for an extended period of time can cause relationship issues and impair your child’s ability to do well in school. What can you do if you see your child isn’t sleeping well? How can you make your children’s bedtimes more enjoyable?

Related: Self-Care Tips for a Healthier, Happier You

5. How to Set Up a Bedtime Routine

A bedtime regimen or sleep hygiene will help your child fall asleep sooner. It will also help you have a better night’s sleep. You’ll have to figure out what works best for your family, but the following tips can help everyone enjoy a better night’s sleep.

For Babies

Most parents believe that letting their kids “cry it out” before the night is necessary. There are, however, techniques to train a baby to sleep through the night without crying, making the experience more enjoyable for everyone.

In fact, research suggests that the fading bedtime method—also known as gentle sleep training—is just as successful as letting a baby scream while avoiding stress. [6] What is gentle sleep training, and how does it work?

Gentle Sleep Training

This method eases babies and young children into falling asleep on their own. There are two ways to do this:

1. Positive Routines With Faded Bedtime

Comforting, calm, and predictable routines that last up to twenty minutes help children go asleep effortlessly. The trick is to pick a time for bed that isn’t too early. When a youngster isn’t weary, he or she will fight sleep.

Even if it’s later than you’d want, start the procedure when your infant or toddler is sleeping. You’ll notice a trend and soon figure out when they begin to naturally wind down. For the time being, make this their bedtime.

They’ll begin to connect sleep with the pattern, and you’ll be able to gradually modify their schedule by starting fifteen to twenty minutes earlier.

Related: Bedtime Routines for Children of Various Ages (Your Go-To Guide)

2. Sleep With Parental Presence

You lie down with your infant or toddler until they fall asleep using this approach. You progressively pay less attention to your child as you sit up and eventually sit in a chair.

Your youngster will eventually be able to sleep without you. This approach was found to help newborns sleep longer and wake up less in research. [7]

Both methods require time, but they are more successful and less stressful than letting a baby or small child scream.

More Tips to Help Your Baby Sleep Better

You want to establish a habit, but how do you do it? What are some practical ways you can assist your infant in getting ready for bed?

Here are some suggestions for a relaxing and restful night’s sleep:[8]

  • Expose them to natural sunshine, daytime activities, and the tranquility of the evening to help them set their “internal clock.”
  • Exposure to blue light should be avoided.
  • Make the hours leading up to tonight relaxing, serene, and enjoyable.
  • Learn how to minimize stress to a bare minimum for both you and your child.
  • Don’t push yourself to sleep. It will heighten anxiousness and make it more difficult to sleep.
  • Avoid falling asleep in the late afternoon.
  • Increase the amount of time between naps and bedtime.
  • Before going to bed, feed the baby.
  • If the infant begins to wake up, don’t intervene too soon. Allow your youngster the opportunity to fall asleep again.

For Elementary-Aged Children

It’s easier to stick to a regimen if you start while you’re young, but it’s never too late. The good news is that you’ll notice a difference in your child’s sleep after just a few nights.

These suggestions can assist you in creating a plan that will encourage your kid to go asleep more easily, faster, and for longer periods of time.[9]

  • Give them a healthy snack.
  • Give them a bath.
  • They brush their teeth and use the restroom.
  • Read them a story.
  • Sing a song for them.
  • Massage or cuddle them.
  • Discuss the events of the day.

For the greatest effects, choose a few tasks and do them in the same order each night. To help everyone slow down, dim the lights and reduce activity to a minimum.

For Teens

Teens may resist obtaining more sleep, but they will benefit from a schedule as well. Kids are typically capable of managing their bedtime, but with a little discipline and supervision, they can receive the rest they require. Your teen will sleep better if you follow the advice below. [10]

  • Caffeine should be avoided in the evening.
  • Time spent in front of the screen should be limited.
  • Avoid binge-watching late at night.
  • Exercise for at least sixty minutes each day.
  • Maintain a dark, cool, and quiet environment in your bedroom.
  • Problems should be discussed.

6. Quality Sleep for a Healthy Life

With good sleep hygiene in place, bedtime for kids can be a fun part of the day. It may be a great way to spend quality time with your child while simultaneously putting them on the path to excellent health and high performance.

You can assure good rest for the entire family and improved bedtimes for your children by following these suggestions.


1. Medical News Today: Why Sleep Is Essential For Health

2. Child Mind Institute: Teens And Sleep: The Cost Of Sleep Deprivation

3. Depart of Health: Drowsy Driving Prevention, Teens Ages 16 To 19

4. AAP publications: AAP Endorses New Recommendations On Sleep Times

5. Journal of Excellence in Nursing Leadership: Sleep Deprivation In Children A Growing Public Health Concern

6. Parenting Science: Gentle Infant Sleep Training

7. better health: Solutions to sleep concerns (11) – babies 6 to 12 months

8. Parenting Science: 15 Evidence-Based Baby Sleep Tips

9. Sleep Foundation: Bedtime Routines For Children

10. NHS: Sleep Tips For Teenagers

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