Hot Topics     Home and Family     Healthy Kids    

Create a bedtime routine for your child



A regular series of steps makes an orderly, soothing transition into sleep

Create a bedtime routine for your child


When you establish a routine, you're setting up a sequence of events that are followed consistently at the same time each day, giving children a sense of security because they know what to expect. Routines for various transition times (see our article on this topic) are useful, and none is more important than bedtime, when your child is settling down to sleep.

You will also benefit from a bedtime routine because it gives you necessary time to yourself after your child has fallen asleep.

Put a bedtime routine in place as early as four months of age and no later than one year. Jyoti Krishna, M.D., Director, Pediatric Sleep Medicine at Akron Children's Hospital, says it's best to put children down to sleep while they're still drowsy, not fully asleep, so they're not dependent on parents to fall asleep.

Here are more tips for an easy transition:

Slow down

About 30 minutes before sleep time, cut off activities that are stimulating. Turn off the TV, call a halt to running, jumping, and other physical exercise.

Shift to soothing activities

Move on to something calmer, such as a bath, reading a book aloud, a gentle massage, a period of nursing or bottle feeding. Try different options to see what works best.

Adjust the atmosphere

Most babies sleep best with a firm mattress, a comfortable temperature, and either darkness or a night light. Some like to have soft music playing.

Provide nourishment

Breastfeeding or a bottle helps prepare a baby for sleep. A toddler can have a light snack with both carbs and protein, followed by toothbrushing.

Stick to a pre-determined bedtime

Consistency helps train your child to fall asleep at a given time. If you keep changing bedtime, it will be harder to maintain naps and sleeping through the night. You might make exceptions for special occasions like holidays and birthdays, but the more you stay on schedule, the less stress there will be for you and your child.



Other articles by HVP News Reporters


  • Simple tips for mindful eating

    How to incorporate foods your family loves

    Mindful eating doesn’t have to be restrictive and you don’t have to give up your favorite foods. read more »
  • Safe entertaining tips in a COVID-19 world

    Precautions to protect your physical health and your guests

    After an extended period without social contact, it’s only natural to crave some interaction, and there’s evidence that doing so can be advantageous for your mental health. However, taking precautions to protect your physical health, along with your guests’, can make for a more enjoyable event. read more »
  • Keeping pets safe in the garden

    hazards that can impact the well-being of your furry friends

    If you have pets that enjoy spending time outdoors, it’s important to make sure your yard is a safe place for them to be. read more »
  • How to raise kind and caring children

    3 tips from experts

    At some point, many parents will likely find themselves encouraging their children to “be kind” or “be friendly.” read more »
  • Safety tips for a safe 4th of July

    Celebrate safely and use extreme caution with fireworks and family gatherings

    The New York State Division of Consumer Protection (DCP) reminds New Yorkers to keep safe while celebrating Independence Day. As we celebrate this annual tradition with festivities ranging from fireworks, picnics, parades, family gatherings and barbecues, let’s also remember basic safety tips that apply to everyone. read more »
  • Weeklong FAIR Film Festival 2022

    The Foundation Against Intolerance & Racism (FAIR) Hosts a Film Screening Plus Q&A

    The Foundation Against Intolerance & Racism (FAIR) will kick off the FAIR Film Festival 2022 with an in-person screening of the documentary film I Am A Victor plus a selection of short films on Sunday, June 12 at 1:00pm EDT at Caveat on the lower east side in Manhattan. read more »
  • Keep kids learning during summer

    3 Fun, Easy Ways

    With school out, summertime brings long, carefree days of play and fun. With a little thought and a few supplies, summer is a perfect opportunity to revitalize their innate love of learning that may be a bit squashed after a year of academic pressures, tests and schedules. read more »
  • Take steps to support literacy

    8 ways to inspire children to read

    Reading is a foundation for learning, yet a vast gap exists in access to books for low-income neighborhoods. read more »
  • Sweeten up summer with a frozen, fruity snack

    Try these easy to make ice pops

    Heading to the freezer for a fruity ice pop can transport you from your own backyard to a tropical island, and the experience can be even more rewarding when the tasty treat is homemade. read more »
  • Clean. Drain. Dry. Every Time!

    Help keep invasive species out of our waters

    One of the most effective ways we can all help stop the spread of aquatic invasive species is by following proper procedures for cleaning, draining, and drying watercraft and equipment every time you leave the water. read more »