Monday, December 7, 2009

What are your five tips & tricks for getting your kids to bed on time and getting them to stay in bed?

Twittermoms is back again with another great opportunity to share great information and win prizes in the process. The prize they are giving away is a St Eve cozy. You can also go to and try to win one there by submitting a story. Today their question is "How to you get your kids to go to bed and stay there?" I don't know if I've been very lucky or if my tips will work for everyone, but I've never had a problem with getting my little munchkins to go to bed and stay there (not including trying to get them to sleep through the night when they were babies). Here's what we do:

  1. Routine - We have a pretty strict bedtime routine. It really doesn't vary at all from night to night. The entire routine takes about 1/2 hour and includes going potty, brushing teeth, bath, pjs, stories, and prayers. We've been doing pretty much the same routine since my oldest was about 9 months old. She's now 5.
  2. Mommy/Daddy Time - As the girls have gotten older they spend more time away from home at ballet, preschool, kindergarten, etc. As a result they don't get as much one on one time. We try to make sure each girls gets ample time with one or both of us during the day/evening so that they aren't tempted to want to stay up all night to tell us about their days.
  3. Questions - After prayers, before I put the girls to bed for the night I sit with them for a minute and just talk. This is their opportunity to ask me any last minute questions they might have about what happened today or what is likely to happen tomorrow. This seems to put their minds at ease and prevent any late night questions.
  4. Midnight Kisses (and water) - The girls always want "one last drink" and "one last kiss" before I put them to bed. Since I don't want them getting up in the middle of the night to go potty I rarely give them water, but always promise to come in and open the door, give them a kiss and leave water on their night stand before I go to bed. Knowing that I'll be back and that they'll have the opportunity for water if they are still thirsty in the middle of the night seems to make them feel better. While I don't think they ever drink the water, I always take it in and give them their promised kisses. In the morning they know that I kept my promise because the door is open and they have their water.
  5. My last tip is that we try to do calming things at night before bed. On occasion my husband (the fun one) will get them all fired up with a game of chase, hide-n-seek, or something similar, but for the most part we try to use the evening for stories, board games and basic family time. It really seems to help calm them and ready them for their nighttime routine.


  1. I love your midnight kisses and water idea.

  2. Thanks! I love the midnight kisses myself because I get to see my angels while they're sleeping. Each night I'm amazed at how peaceful and happy a sleeping child looks.