- 4 mins
Bedtime Rituals and Routines
As an elementary school student, long before there were smartphones, I put myself to bed using a television sleep timer. Following a song or story, I would turn on the television in my room as part of my bedtime routine. I’d set the timer for 30 minutes and close my eyes to my favorite TV Land sounds. I learned to love the way the music cued Samantha’s nose twitch on Bewitched and the friendship between Lucy and Ethel on I Love Lucy.
Now that I am a new mom and my baby is in the bassinet beside me, we thrive on the ritual of bedtime. My husband and I have learned that the bear night-light, the sound machine, and the Moshi Story Close Your Eyes SleepyPaws support our baby in learning the cues that it is bedtime.
Rituals for children are important because they allow them to develop a sense of trust and autonomy within their day-to-day lives. According to Zero to Thrive, routines and structured activities provide children with a greater understanding of their emotional health, as children navigate, adapt to, and learn to manage challenging emotions. A predictable bedtime routine provides opportunities to practice self-regulation. It also builds up an early understanding of resilience, because your child will learn what to expect daily and can adapt with greater flexibility as things change with each stage.
Here are some strategies for good bedtime rituals and routines for your kids:
- Start around the same time each night.
- Allow the environment to reflect night and darkness. Consider using blackout curtains, but put on a night-light if necessary.
- Help your child pick out comfortable pajamas, brush their teeth, and select a story to read.
- Create a relaxing bedtime routine using Moshi Stories or Meditations.
- Take a deep breath and use this time to connect with your child. If you feel tense, try to focus your attention back on your breath.
- Snuggle and give plenty of hugs and kisses.