How Your Child's Bedtime Routine Could Set Them Up For Success

mom putting girl to sleep

Every parent knows that a solid bedtime routine makes life easier for everyone in the home. It makes a parent's job easier if every night a child knows their routine, regardless if it's bath, story, bed, or they get to watch a certain show or there's a specific snack they get to have before it's lights out. It also helps the child understand that they're expected to go to bed if the routine is the same every night.

While we know that a set routine makes for an easier bedtime for both parents and the child, a new study now proves that a solid bedtime routine may not just make your life easier at the time, but also may be setting up your child for success as they grow older.

The study, titled Bedtime Routines Child Wellbeing & Development studied 50 families with children between the ages of 3 and 5. According to the study the parents were asked about their own bedtime routines for their children, including how often their children brushed their teeth, whether they snacked before bed and whether there was a bedtime story of if the children were allowed to use electronic devices before they went to bed.

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The study found that kids who were in a home where there was a consistent bedtime routine had better memory, were able to focus more and had better attention spans, and scored higher in being ready for school than the children who didn't have a consistent bedtime routine.

child brushing teeth
Credit: iStock / Lacheev

Children who had a regular bedtime routine also had better dental health than those who didn't. We can assume that those who have a regular bedtime routine means that they're regularly brushing their teeth before bed, versus those with sub-optimal bedtime routines who often snack before bed and don't brush their teeth at all.

According to The Sun, the study showed that with the children who had the regular bedtime routine there were, “lower levels of anxiety, anger, and fatigue. There is also an association between emotional and psychological well-being . . . with those children having a non-regular bedtime routine experiencing more frequent behavioral difficulties.”

As parents, we know that a consistent bed time routine helps not only the parent be able to plan their evenings, but it also ensures bed time success because the child knows what to expect. Now however science is confirming that not only does a routine make bed time easier, but it's truly beneficial to every child in all aspects of their lives.

The study concluded that the 'optimal' bedtime routine were more likely in homes where the parents 'were authoritative in style.' Basically you don't have to feel guilty about being strict about your bed time routine, because it's definitely benefiting your child.

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