The Best Toddler Bedtime Routine

The Best Toddler Bedtime Routine

Our Recommended Sleep Routine for Toddlers

With life’s inconsistencies routines can be hard, especially with babies. While you may have to deviate from the plan during the day, interfering with bedtime can be a dangerous game. Toddler bedtime routines or cues that help your toddler know that bedtime is coming can be extremely helpful in promoting a good night’s sleep. Here at Dreamland, we love sleep - and are confident we can help you and your toddler get more of it. Our weighted sleep aid products can help your baby or toddler fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer, but they do not dismiss the importance of a bedtime routine. While our products can signal that bedtime is coming and help children self soothe, there are other tips and tricks parents should know. Keep reading to learn more.

Love sleep? We do too. Here’s a few ways to promote an effective toddler bedtime routine:


A bedtime routine should be consistent and predictable. This means that it should happen at the same time and in the same order every night. Consistency will help your toddler learn what to expect and send signals to their body that it's time to wind down and prepare for sleep.


A typical toddler bedtime routine may include a bath, brushing teeth, changing into comfy pajamas, reading a story, singing a lullaby, and saying goodnight. You can customize the routine to fit your child's needs and preferences, but it should include calming activities that help your toddler relax.

Comfort items. 

Many toddlers find comfort in having a special stuffed animal or blanket with them at bedtime. These comfort items can help the child feel safe and secure. Bedtime can be scary as they know they are about to be in the dark alone. There can also be anxieties about the fear of what they might miss while asleep. Provide your toddler reassurance that they are safe and use items such as a weighted blanket and sound machine to create an environment that makes them feel safe too. 

You may have already realized, your toddler has a larger than life personality with their own needs and preferences. It's important to keep in mind that since every child is different, and what works for one child may not work for another. Be willing to adjust your toddler's bedtime routine as needed to find what works best for them. 

Why can bedtime be hard for toddlers?

Being a tiny human is hard! Your toddler is navigating the world and learning new things each day, this can be exhausting. Not only is it exhausting, but it can also be overstimulating. Overstimulation is one of the biggest reasons your toddler might have difficulty falling asleep. Toddlers are highly sensitive to their environment, and if they are overstimulated by noise, bright lights, or too much activity before bedtime, it can make it hard for them to wind down. Many toddlers also experience separation anxiety, which can make it difficult for them to fall asleep without you close by.

Weighted sleep products such as our Weighted Blanket feature CoverCalm® technology evenly distributes weight from your baby’s shoulders to toes to naturally reduce stress and create a sense of security. This can help your toddler let go of overstimulation, calm down, and get to sleep peacefully. 

Beyond overstimulation, there can be biological reasons that your toddler has a hard time falling asleep. Production of the sleep hormone, melatonin, does not fully mature until adolescence. This means that your toddler doesn’t quite have the signals rushing through their blood when the sun goes down telling them it’s time to go to sleep. The production of melatonin is controlled by the body's internal clock, or circadian rhythm, which helps to regulate many bodily functions including sleep. As your toddler grows, their circadian rhythm still needs some fine-tuning. You can aid in this development by minimizing exposure to light in the evening and creating a dark and quiet sleep environment. 

If you have any concerns about your child’s health contact your pediatrician for professional advice. 

What are the best ways to improve my toddler's bedtime routine?

In addition to providing a dark and quiet sleep space, there are a few things you can do to improve your toddler’s bedtime routine. 

Gradually adjust your toddler's bedtime. 

If your toddler's current bedtime is too late, try gradually adjusting it earlier by 15 minutes every few nights until you reach your desired bedtime.

Be consistent. 

Consistency is key when it comes to improving your toddler's bedtime routine. Stick to the routine as much as possible, even on weekends or during vacations.

Weighted sleep sacks or blankets. 

The pressure of gentle weight can naturally reduce stress and improve relaxation through deep touch stimulation. Our CoverCalm® Technology evenly distributes weight from your baby’s shoulders to toes, making them feel safe and secure. With time, your baby or toddler will crave this sense of security as they do want to sleep and know how much better they feel when they wake. As a parent we must be patient and help our babies learn to self soothe and sleep. Weighted swaddles, sleep sacks, and blankets are a great way to do that - start at the newborn stage. The feeling produced by the weight is the closest thing to the comfort of a parent's arms.

Is 7PM too early for toddler bedtime?

A bedtime of 7:00 PM can be appropriate for your toddler, depending on their exact age and individual sleep needs. Toddlers typically need between 11-14 hours of sleep each day, including naps. For example, a two-year-old who wakes up at 7:00 AM and takes a 1-2 hour nap during the day would typically be ready for bed between 7:00 - 8:00 PM.

However, the best bedtime for each toddler can vary depending on their individual sleep needs and schedules, as well as family routines and schedules. It's important to observe your child's behavior and adjust their bedtime as needed to ensure they are getting enough restful sleep. If your toddler is constantly waking up cranky or tired in the morning, it may be a sign that their bedtime needs to be adjusted earlier.

How long should a toddler’s bedtime routine be?

A toddler's bedtime routine should typically last between 20-30 minutes. This gives enough time for your toddler to wind down and prepare for sleep without becoming overstimulated or overtired.

What should toddlers not do at bedtime?

To best prepare your toddler for bedtime, there are some things you should avoid:

Long naps. 

Napping for too long or too late in the day can interfere with your toddler's ability to fall asleep at night.

Inconsistent bedtime routines. 

Toddlers thrive on routine and consistency, so it's important to establish a consistent bedtime routine that is followed each night.

Screen time. 

It's recommended to avoid screen time, including television and electronic devices, for at least 30 minutes before bedtime. The blue light emitted by screens can interfere with sleep and make it harder for your child to fall asleep.

Sugary drinks or caffeine. 

These can interfere with your toddler's ability to fall asleep.

To help your toddler in their independent sleep journey, Dreamland Baby delivers a selection of products designed to help your child fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer. Our weighted swaddles, transitional swaddles, sleep sacks, and blankets were designed in partnership with pediatricians, pulmonologists, NICU nurses, and certified sleep consultants - with you and your baby in mind. And with that, we hope you’ll order Dreamland today and get the rest you and your toddler deserve. Sweet dreams my friend!

Baby Bamboo Pajamas w/ DreamCuffs

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In June 2022, the AAP updated its sleep guidelines and is currently not recommending weighted sleep solutions. You can read the full report here. Please note that this is not a recall. Dreamland Baby is in ongoing dialogue with the AAP regarding its stance on weighted sleepwear and hopes it will result in the statement being retracted.