How to Overcome Your Children’s Bedtime Resistance

Many parents face the challenge of getting their children to bed without resistance. Bedtime can often become a battleground rather than a peaceful end to the day. However, with the right strategies, it is possible to transform this struggle into a seamless routine.

two toddler pillow fighting

Photo by Allen Taylor on Unsplash

This article will explore practical ways to overcome children’s bedtime resistance, focusing on establishing a nightly routine and creating a conducive sleep environment.

Establish a nightly routine

The first step in overcoming bedtime resistance is to establish a comforting and predictable nightly routine. An effective way to signal to children that it’s time to start winding down can be as simple as a consistent bathing routine followed by changing into pajamas. This can be more than just a change of clothes; it can be an event that the child looks forward to. Here are some tips to make this process smoother:

Let them choose

After bathtime, involve your children in the process by letting them pick out their pajamas. This gives them a sense of autonomy and makes bedtime feel less like a mandate and more like a choice they are part of. We recommend looking at these children’s pajamas from Sammy + Nat, as they produce some wonderfully soft and hypoallergenic night clothes in a range of patterns and designs which are loved by little ones.

Harness the relaxing nature of a warm bath

When looking to establish a bedtime routine which will lead to a happy put-down, a consistent bathing routine is key. A predictable schedule helps regulate your child’s internal clock and makes it easier for them to fall asleep at the same time each night, while a warm bath will help prepare them for a restful night’s sleep.

Create a conducive sleep environment

The environment in which your child sleeps plays a crucial role in how easily they can transition to bedtime. A room that is conducive to sleep is quiet, cool, and comfortable. It should be a place that your child associates with relaxation and safety. Here are some ways to create such an environment:

Comfort is key

Ensure the bed and pillows are comfortable. Use soft lighting to create a calm atmosphere and consider a white noise machine to block out disruptive sounds.

Limit screen time

Too much screen time, on a laptop, pad or phone, especially before bedtime can seriously impact your child’s natural ability to fall asleep. Encourage activities that don’t involve screens, such as reading or puzzles, as part of the bedtime routine. Research shows that the blue light from screens can have a negative impact on sleep in both children and adults.

Personalize their space

Allow your child to have input in decorating their room or arranging their sleeping area. A space that feels like their own can make bedtime feel more inviting.


Overcoming bedtime resistance is about creating a routine that your child can understand and look forward to. By focusing on these strategies, parents can help make bedtime a peaceful and enjoyable time for both themselves and their children. 

For more advice on developing a successful bedtime routine for your child, take a look at the Sleep Foundation. In doing so it may well just help improve your night’s sleep too.

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