Skip to Content

My Helpful Bedtime Routine for a Preschooler

Is bedtime a struggle in your home?  From infancy on, many families find bedtime to be the hardest part of the day.  As newborns, it’s because they just don’t sleep.  But life, and bedtime, don’t always get easier as the kids get older. 

While some kids are naturally great sleepers, many are not.  My husband and I have been blessed with some of each.  But today, I want to share how to make bedtime transitions easier and set a bedtime routine for your 3-year-old or 4-year-old.

a 4 year old girl sleeping on a bed with a castle headboard and a text overlay that says, "7 tips for a smooth bedtime transition".

2 Most Important Tips To Make Bedtime Transitions Easier for a Preschooler

While there’s no tried and true way that will work for every child, family, or situation, I wanted to share some ideas that may be of help.  Nobody wants bedtime to be a struggle, so here are some tips for how to make bedtime transitions easier for your 4-year-old or 3-year-old child.

Make a Routine

Routines are a must. Try to follow the same routine each and every day for the easiest bedtime transition.

Set a Bedtime

Set a reasonable bedtime that your family can stick to. Sure, occasionally you might need to adjust it because of something special happening, but aim to have your child in bed at the same time nearly every night.

There are things you will want to do before turning out the lights, so plan and start your bedtime routine accordingly.

a clock showing 8:15.

Our Preschooler’s Bedtime Routine

This bedtime routine is based on a 4-year-old who has older siblings. If you have an only child you may decide that a different routine is best for him/her. Depending on what time your 3-year-old or 4-year-old wakes up, you may also need to start earlier than us.

a little 4-year-old girl laying on a bed with a Simplay3 Imagination Castle Headboard.

Family Time

Before bedtime, we’ve found it to be super helpful to spend some time winding down as a family.  Around 7:30 or so, we all hang out in the living room and chat about the day, expectations for tomorrow, and whatever else the kids want to tell us.

Read A Story:

After about 10 minutes of family time talking, my husband reads a chapter out of the Bible.  We follow up with a discussion.  And then, something new we’ve started is reading a story out of a Chicken Soup For The Soul Book.   (The kids have been LOVING these stories!)  And finally, we will rotate through reading a children’s chapter book or short kid’s book.

mom reading a book to her two kids.

Play a Game Together

Something I wished my parents would have done even more of, is play games with us kids.  So after Bible and sory time, many nights, we play a short game as a family.  Some great games for preschoolers include Lucky Ducks and Memory. For more ideas, check out this list of the best board games for preschoolers.

Bath, Put on Pajamas, and Brush Teeth

I think everyone sleeps better after they wash up, brush their teeth, and put on clean pajamas.  So this is a must every single night.  To help everyone settle down after the game, we all get ready for bed by doing these three things. If you don’t feel like your child needs a bath every night you could do that every other night or every 3rd nights.

Little boy holding a toothbrush.

Bedtime Prayers:

This is again something we do as a family.  Building on our faith is always something we try to work on.  So after everyone is completely ready for bed, we meet back in the living room.  Everyone circles up, holds hands, and someone prays about our day, family, and any other requests that have been brought up.

Comfortable Bed For Each Child:

 We’ve always made sure that every child has his or her own bed.  While that hasn’t stopped some co-sleeping from time to time, it’s good for everyone to know they have a place of their own if they choose. At 3 or 4 years old, your child is definitely old enough to sleep in her own bed.  

Little girl laying on a bed that has a Simplay3 Imagination Castle Headboard.
Little girl holding a stuffed animal unicorn sitting on a bed that has a Simplay3 Imagination Castle Headboard.


Wednesday 27th of November 2019

Love the Toy Box Easel for my kids!

Jo-Ann Brightman

Wednesday 27th of November 2019

I would love to have the Young Explorers Adventure Climber for my grandkids to enjoy.


Wednesday 27th of November 2019

The play around kitchen looks fun

Lauryn R

Tuesday 26th of November 2019

I would love to get the Toddler Tower Adjustable Stool for my youngest little ones. This would be so handy to have, especially in the kitchen where they love to help me cook and bake.

Kate F.

Monday 25th of November 2019

I think that the Sharing Library would be fun for my family.