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14 Happy Bedtime Rituals

14 Happy Bedtime Rituals

There’s no one-size-fits-all bedtime routine. Some moms go with the bare essentials, while others turn the evening witching hour into something magical. Mix and match from the options below, or add your own:

  • Bath Aim for a warm soak, rather than a manic splashing.

  • Brush teeth It’s important for health reasons, but over time it will also help to send your body “go to sleep” signals

  • Wash face More signals to tell your little one it’s time to sleep.

  • Potty time and glass of water One last chance to use the toilet before bed and to fill up a small glass of water. Having water bedside will help ward off requests for water later.

  • Pick out pajamas Give your child a feeling of control over bedtime by letting her choose, but limit the options to two or three.

  • Pick out books Again, he’s in charge. Let him choose two or three books for you to read.

  • Bedtime yoga Pick some child–friendly, sleep–friendly poses to wind her body down.

  • Talk quietly Connect by talking about her day or engaging in some creative thinking. Or, have her “pick a dream” to decide what she’ll dream about tonight.

  • Read Read to your child. Avoid the “one more story” plea by establishing ahead of time how many books you’ll read.

  • Deep pressure exercises Help her relax by having her tighten and release muscles, starting from the toes and moving up her body.

  • Lullaby Quietly sing or hum your child’s favorite lullaby. Try Yo Gabba Gabba’s song, “Think Happy Thoughts.”

  • Prayer This can range from a formal religious prayer to a few simple words giving thanks.

  • Say goodnight To each other, the moon, the stars, the teddy bear — let your child lead the way.

  • Snuggle Tuck her in and kiss her goodnight so you can both go to bed feeling warm and fuzzy.


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