How To Get Your Pre-Schooler to Bed in 10 Easy Steps

So, I don’t know about you, but some days I glance at the clock, and think, “Is it almost bedtime yet?” only to realize it’s only four o’clock. My kids go to bed around 7PM, so I feel like that late afternoon time where I’m trying to figure out dinner and keep the kids from arguing over who is right about something or another is often a battle of mind over matter. 

After a few years of trial and error and extensive research, I feel like I have come up with a 100% foolproof way to get your kids to bed and right to sleep.


Step 1: Start getting yourself pumped up ahead of time. Those little people can really out-smart ya. This is time I start listening to my favorite music and start getting my groove on in the kitchen while I make dinner. If you turn the music up even louder, it can really drown out all the “Is dinner ready yet’s?”

Step 2: Dinner. Stay calm and collected, and just try to smile. Sure, your middle child refuses to eat any part of his pasta that has touched the brussels sprouts and is already asking what you’re planning on making the following day. And he’s relieved that, “phew, it’s not brussels sprouts.”

Step 3: Send your kids to get their pajamas on. You should probably allow at least fifteen minutes for this because somehow, either their pajama top or bottom will have gone missing. They’ve torn the room apart looking for a certain pair, and you find the room in shambles. And then you realize you never moved the washed laundry into the dryer. And chances are, your kid doesn’t want to wear wet pajamas to bed. So, it’s mismatched pajamas tonight. Again.

Step 4: Brush teeth and go potty. A good thirty minutes should be enough to get these two accomplished. I mean, I don’t know personally why it would take that long to use the bathroom and brush my teeth, but my kids have magically found a way to make that happen. Perhaps they’re just very concerned about oral hygiene.

Step 5: Read books. Choose a book that you think they’ll like, then put it back on the shelf because chances are, they’ll want a different one. Once you’ve picked two or three out, be ready to read at least two more. Kids have amazing negotiating skills. “Just ONE more,” almost always actually means like three more.

Step 6: Hugs and Kisses. This is the best part because my kids really like to wait till we say goodnight to suddenly have a hundred things they want to tell me (RIGHT THIS SECOND) about their day. They’ll tell me what their friends wore at school today, and how it appears that their other friend got a haircut. They’ll tell you about the school bunny they got to pet, and proceed to talk about how it has a backbone. They’ll then name at least a dozen different animals and ask if they have backbones.

Step 7: Second round of hugs and kisses, because the first round wasn’t enough.

Step 8: (You may need to repeat steps 6 and 7 several times. Try to do it with a smile!)

Step 9: And just when you think you might need to actually tie your kids to their beds or look through the Harry Potter books for a door-locking spell, you realize they haven’t made a sound in several minutes!

Step 10: Ahhhhhhh. Time to catch up on some Netflix, right? 

  • And as always, before reading books, we love to apply some Wink Pure Sleep & Breathe rub onto their chests. Warning: will be tickle-y and cause giggles!

-Karim Jones

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