Should You Alternate Who Puts Your Child to Bed?

Finding the right balance between consistency and shared responsibilities can lead to a smoother bedtime routine for the whole family, so I always recommend that you should alternate who puts your child to bed, if it is possible for your family.  There are many advantages of having both parents actively participating in the bedtime ritual, so let’s explore the benefits and delve into why a bedtime routine is so important as well.

The benefits of a consistent bedtime routine

Having a consistent bedtime routine for your child of any age is important and helpful.  Children thrive on predictability and feel safe when daily activities are routine.  You can start a bedtime routine with your child as early as the newborn phase, and then continue it through their school age years.   Here are a few tips to make that bedtime routine run smoothly:

  1. Keep the routine for bedtime between 20 -30 minutes.  This allows the brain and the body enough time to be cued that time for sleep is coming.
  2. Dim the lights during the bedtime routine. This helps to cue the neurotransmitters that it is time for sleep, and makes sure that melatonin is starting to do it’s job.
  3. Use a bedtime routine chart.  For little one’s from the age of around 2, you can start using a bedtime routine chart to help thme visualize what steps are in the bedtime routine.
  4. Start the routine at the same time. Your child’s bedtime should be around the same time every day.  The reason?  It helps to set their circadian rhythm or “body clock”.  This helps regulate sleep and assure that they get the adequate amount of sleep each day.

Pros for alternating who puts the child to bed

Bedtime is a great time for bonding between parents or caregivers, and the child.  It helps to build up your child’s attachment bank and gives you one to one time, while promoting healthy sleep patterns.  Making sure that all parents or caregivers in the family have the chance to participate has its benefits!

  1. The child gets the chance to spend quality time with both parents or caregivers individually.
  2. The alternate parent or caregiver can have a bit of a break from the bedtime routine, and have the chance for a bit of “me time”.  This could even lead to girls/boys night out, taking an evening class or just having some time to yourself for a bit.
  3. By getting used to the regular bedtime routine, done by different parents and/or caregivers, you open up the possiblity for your child to be able to be put down for bed by a grandparent or a babysitter.  Yay!

Life presents unexpected challenges, sicknesses and events that sometimes we can not plan for.  If your child is used to different people doing their bedtime routine with them, they will be much more adaptable if a situation like that may arise.

Work together with your partner or other caregiver(s) to establish a plan that can promote alternating the person who does the bedtime routine with your child (ren), so that it is consistent.  The more predictable for your child the better!  Implement the above strategies to help improve your child’s bedtime routine, making it smoother for everyone invloved.  Enjoy that time with your child, and enjoy that bond that you are creating and be proud that you are also instilling healthy sleep habits.

Are your child’s sleep habits in need of a little organization and help? You are never too late! Contact me now and have an experienced sleep coach help get sleep on track with personalized guidance and expert advice.


Free Download For Parents

The Five Steps to Getting Your Child to Sleep Tonight!

Sign Up to Get your FREE copy of my “Getting Started Guide”.