How To Get Your Child To Go To Bed (Hint: Make It Fun)

I was looking back through old posts, when I found one titled Dealing with Bedtime Battles that I wrote almost 2 years ago. Like many of you, most nights I’m still wondering how to get your child to go to bed.

The battle with Ethan has ceased; Ethan knows his bedtime, and he may even look forward to it (finally!) But after re-reading that post, I realized that it’s still the way I spend most of my evenings and nights. The bedtime battles rage on, though it’s turned into a preschooler bedtime battle with two anti-sleeping preschoolers.

So I thought I’d share with you some tips for alleviating (or at least making bearable) those preschooler and toddler bedtime battles. These tips worked for us, and I hope they will help you learn how to get your child to go to bed!


We all know that bedtime won’t go smoothly every night, but it should most nights. These tips will help your little ones settle down so that they can settle in for the night.

How To Get Your Child To Go To Bed

Establish a Routine

If the kids know what to expect as the day winds down, they are more likely to go through the motions and get into bed. Our routine is usually bath time, one last drink of milk for the girls, brushing teeth, and a story.

Get Rid of that Extra Energy

My kids all seem to turn into little balls of energy towards the end of the night. This usually happens after bath time and before their last book of the night. They need to get out the last of their wiggles. One fun way to do this is to dance while they get their jammies on and brush their hair. We love this song by Go FISH!

Quiet it Down, But Keep It Fun

This should be a fun time of the day for you, Mom! In just a bit,you might get an hour or two of quiet! Help the kids wind down but keep it fun. Dim the lights, turn on a quiet movie or a read some stories in a low voice. We like to listen to music, but keep the volume low.

Play Simon Says while putting on pajamas. Have the kids wiggle their behinds as they brush their toothbrush back and forth over their teeth. Let them lay on their beds and pull the blankets over the top of them to “hide” them from their siblings. Have them pick out what they want to wear in the morning.

Snuggle Up

Since the girls go to bed before Ethan, I have time to give them all cuddles. I get into Lila’s bed and snuggle up. I ask her what her favorite part of the day was, what she is thankful for (we tell God), and what she is looking forward to tomorrow. Then a kiss and a hug and on to Mia’s bed. Then on to Ethan’s.

While I know for sure that these tips don’t work every night, they do work a lot of nights. This makes it easier for me, for the kids, and for my sanity. And if these tips help you figure out how to get your child to go to bed, then I’ll be happy.

Want more tips on how to get your child to go to bed? Parenting shares 14 bedtime rituals – some of them are pretty cool!

For some of you, how to get your child to go to bed is a game of chance, testing different methods, and luck. I’ve been there and know it. So please share your tips so that we can all find different methods of what might work for us!

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  1. We've been pretty lucky that the boys go to bed easily. For now. :) Great tips here! Alison recently posted..Wordless Wednesday: Capturing the CoolMy Profile
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