Bedtime Prayer With Toddlers
7 Parenting Hacks for an Easier Bedtime with Kids
Interested in supporting your family's health and wellness in 2019? Essential oils are a great place to start. PLUS, you'll snag a $20 Amazon gift card too. Learn more here about our FLASH SALE here. Ends soon!
Sitting in the driver’s seat of the car, my forehead pressed against my hands which clenched the wheel beneath them.
My sweet baby girl wailed in the back seat of the car. With each subsequent breath, her cries pierced deeper and deeper into my ear drum. Adding to the fun, my toddler son sat behind me kicking the seat shouting, “Mama, mama. Baby, crying!”
I was sleep deprived from toddler tantrums at bedtime, my child afraid to sleep alone, and being up several times per night with a baby. I was exhausted and it was only 9:30 am. Even more pitiful, I hadn’t even left the house yet.
So far I only managed to get myself and the kids in the car. As I sat there clenching the steering wheel, two thoughts pounced around my brain ping pong balls:
- I was promised there would be more sleep!
- Why isn’t there more sleep?!
Toddler bedtime struggles are real.
A recent online survey conducted by Healthdirect Australia revealed that the biggest struggle new parents face is parental sleep deprivation and helping kids sleep.
(post contains affiliate links)
Maybe it’s bedtime negotiation.
Maybe it’s a late bedtime.
Maybe it’s night waking.
Maybe your child is afraid to sleep alone.
Maybe it’s early morning waking.
No matter your sleep struggle, you are not alone. Readers from all over the world regularly write and share their struggles with me about sleep. It’s challenging to decide what sleep choices are right for your family!
Today I would to talk toddler tantrums at bedtime, late bedtimes, and practical solutions to help achieve an happy bedtime for your child.
What time should kids go to bed?
When deciding an appropriate bedtime for your child there are several things to consider:
- What is a time that will work well for your family? For example, if you eat dinner as a family at 6 pm, then 6:30 or 7 pm might not work that well for you. Perhaps, 7:30 pm or 8:00 is more realistic.
- What time does your child need to wake up in the morning? If your child needs to wake up at 5 am for daycare because you are a working parent, then an earlier bedtime might help your child get the sleep his developing body needs.
- How much sleep does your child need their age and individual needs? Stick with me, I’ll help answer this question next.
How much sleep do kids really need?
In our home, focusing on average sleep needs by age helps immensely when making decisions about sleep. For example, if we know that an average 2 year old needs 12-14 hours of sleep per day, it helps us gauge what is a reasonable bedtime for him.
If your child needs 10 hours of sleep per night and wakes up at 6 am, then a 8 pm bedtime might work for you.
If your child needs 12 hours of sleep per night and wakes up at 7 am, then a 7 pm is ly ideal.
Tips to help kids get to bed on time
1. Essential oils
Essential oils are a great way to create a calm and relaxing mood before bedtime, helping kids wind down. Perfect for toddler tantrums around bedtime. We love to diffuse lavender or peace and calming about an hour before bedtime to set the tone. Some days we place 2-3 drops of lavender essential oil on sea salt and drop into the bathwater to help our toddler relax.
2. Bedtime routine.
Studies show that a consistent bedtime routine helps cue children for sleep, as it initiates the bodies release of melatonin (nature’s sleep regulation hormone). Keep the routine simple enough to complete each night before bed.
If you are struggling to get your child to cooperate with a routine, we love using these printable bedtime routine cards. This is a super easy way to help kids feel independent and in-control during the bedtime routine.
— Print the bedtime routine cards.
—Laminate them using these easy laminating sheets.
–Arrange in the order of your choosing.
–Hang in the hallway or in your child’s room.
–Help them follow along with the routine each night.
3. Consistency.Anytime you are making changes with sleep, there is often resistance. Resistance does not necessarily mean your parenting choice is incorrect. Change is hard. For kids. For parents. For everyone. Do your research, make a plan, then stay consistent for at least one – two weeks. Then make adjustments and follow your instincts.
4. Choose a bedtime.
the printable chart above, decide what is an appropriate bedtime for your child. For our family, 7:30 pm works best for us. It gives our family enough time to have dinner together, have quality family time together, and do our bedtime routines with the kids. This doesn’t mean 7:30 pm is right for everyone.
Here are 3 things I consider when choosing a bedtime:
–What time will my kids wake up in the morning?
–How much overnight sleep do my kids need?
–What is a realistic bedtime given our family’s work and mealtime schedules?
5. Deep breathing.
There are all sorts of different ways to help kids settle down before bedtime. Deep breathing is one technique I keep in my back pocket when I need it.
Here’s how to use this technique:
–Hug your child while in a sitting position.
–Start deep breathing.
–No instructions are needed for your child.
–Simply continue deep breathing.
If you are interested in reading a bit more science behind why this technique works, I talk about it here: One Simple Trick to Help Kids Fall Asleep Fast
6. Get bed one time rule.
This is fabulous technique explored in the book Parenting With Love And Logic.
The concept is simple:
–Children must go to their rooms at “bedtime.”
–They may stay awake until they are ready for bed.
–Quiet books (or perhaps quiet toys) ONLY in bed.
–Children may come their room only ONCE to say goodnight and get a drink, go potty, ask a question, etc.
–Once they come their room, they are choosing “lights out.”
7. The hour leading up to bedtime.
The hour before bedtime sets the tone. Dim the lights in your home, turn the TV and all screen time off. This is a perfect time to connect with kids, reading books and doing other quiet time activities.
Kids who use screen time before bed are more ly to struggle with bedtime and falling asleep at a reasonable hour.
Bonus Tip: Only use a red night light
Using a white or blue nightlight is a surefire way to keep kids awake. Choosing a red, yellow, or orange light is better is because they don’t emit daytime light frequencies. Blue, green and white lights send your body “daytime” light messages, making you more ly to stay awake.
This Gummygoods Red Nightlight is adorable. Or simply replace your nightlight bulbs with these red night light bulbs.
Getting kids to stay in bed
Once you get your child to an earlier bedtime. You might be wondering how in the world to keep them in bed. It’s challenging.
There isn’t a perfect solution, but in our home we continue walking our child back to bed over and over again while using calm and reassuring phrases.
If you’ve thought it through, made a plan, know your child’s sleep needs, and know an age-appropriate bedtime, feel confident continuing to take your child back to bed.
Here are examples of simple short simple phrases we use:
We do the same routine each night.
You will see mommy and daddy in the morning.
We love you.For the first several nights this could take an infinite number of times and it is exhausting. Sometimes there are tears. We stay calm, speak slowly and use a low voice, reminding him that we love him, but it’s bedtime.
He protests. We stay calm. We remind him. After a consistent day or two, he is back to a smooth bedtime routine and sleeping at a reasonable hour.
I released the steering wheel
As I sat there hanging on for dear life to the steering wheel of my car, a calm washed over me.
The baby continued screaming, my toddler continued kicking, but I changed my tone.
I decided getting the kids from our apartment on the eighth floor down to the car was enough work for now, and I took the kids back upstairs.
I let my toddler watch an episode of Sesame Street. I put my baby down for a nap. And I ate a donut and drank a cup of coffee.
Parenting is exhausting.
Sleep deprivation is heinous.
Sometimes you have to forgive yourself, take a breather, and make a plan to get sleep back on track.
And so I did.
You can find the 40+ printable routine cards we use in our home here.
Want more on parenting?
I've created a free email series just for you! If you are struggling with finding a routine, rhythm or schedule, this email series will help you find one that will work for YOUR family. Yes, really. I've seen my sample routines work time and time again for parents. I know it can work for you too.
This free email series will help you:
- free sample routine for your child
- learn one easy routine that will help you get more done (and keep your child happy)
- get simple hacks for managing the day with mulitple kids
- get a sneak peak at a book containing 25+ sample routines and schedules
Sign up here or click the image below!
Are you new to this community? Start here, friend.
7 Good Bedtime Prayers for Toddlers
Teaching your children some bedtime prayers is a great way to get them to enjoy this quiet time speaking with the Lord before nighttime. Here is a look at some of the most popular and simple bedtime prayers for toddlers that rhyme.
“Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.”
“The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters. He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the LORD
“Our Father, Who art in Heaven Hallowed be thy name Thy kingdom come Thy will be done on Earth as it is in Heaven Give us this day our daily bread And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us And lead us not into temptation But deliver us from evil
“Now I lay me down to sleep. I pray the Lord my soul to keep. If I should die before I wake, I pray to God my soul to take. If I should live for other days,
I pray the Lord to guide my ways.
Father, unto thee I pray, Thou hast guarded me all day; Safe I am while in thy sight, Safely let me sleep tonight. Bless my friends, the whole world bless; Help me to learn helpfulness; Keep me every in thy sight;
So to all I say good night.”
“How we praise and thank You for the precious little lives of all new-born babies, little toddlers and young children, knowing that each one is special to You and was known in Your heart, even before conception.
Thank You that You have scheduled every day of each little life.. and we praise and thank You for the special plans and purposes You have for every single new-born child – for all babies and infants.
We pray Your loving protection over all babies and their families and pray that many may be brought up to know the Lord Jesus as their Saviour. Give parents and grandparents and all those that are in any way connected with young babies the wisdom and grace to care for them in a loving and secure environment.
Guard and protect, guide and provide for each innocent little baby and protect their the hearts and minds from a society that has grown far from the God Who created them and sent His Son to die – so that they might life – this we ask in Jesus name,
“How we praise and thank You for our precious little baby and all the joy that he/she has brought us, and so Father, into Your hands we commit our precious little one and pray that You grace and love would surround him/her and that You would keep him in good health and strength and protect from him from the diseases and illnesses that can be so troubling for a young child
We pray not only for physical health and strength and a strong, healthy body but also for mental well-being and emotional stability.
But also Father we bring before You the spiritual well-being of our precious child. We pray that he would grow up learn to know and love the Lord Jesus personally and come to accept Him as Saviour.
Lord we pray that You would endow this little one with health in every area of his development and thank You for what You are going to do in his life – and we will give You all the praise and glory. This we ask in Jesus name,
You made me, To jump for joy, To sing happy songs, To run fast, To climb high,
To spin and twirl.
You made me To dance with excitement, To clap with thanks, To laugh lots, To shout loud,
To be a brilliant me!”
Here is a great lullaby of bedtime prayers. This is a great collection of prayers that will help encourage your child to give thanks to Him and receive blessings before bedtime.
About the Author of this Blog Post
Crystal Ayres has served as our editor-in-chief for the last five years. She is a proud veteran, wife and mother. The goal of ConnectUs is to publish compelling content that addresses some of the biggest issues the world faces. If you would to reach out to contact Crystal, then go here to send her a message.