How to Get Kids to Fall Asleep FAST: 12 Genius Sleep Hacks

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Confession: We are a family of night owls. When the sun goes down, we get our second wind.

My kids would happily stay awake all night if they could.

So when bedtime finally rolls around, we need to get them into bed and sleeping soundly.

If you’re reading this article, I imagine you’ve heard this phrase a time or two: “But I’m not sleepy!”

Or maybe they’re so wound up at bedtime, it’s nearly impossible to figure out how to get kids to fall asleep.

I’ve rounded up my favorite tips and products to help you get your kiddo ready for bed -peacefully and without the hype (er).

12 Tips to get Kids to Fall Asleep FAST

1. Consider doing baths earlier

If your kids are like mine, bathtime winds them up.

Instead of being nice and calm after a warm bath, my kiddos are bouncing off the walls.

One thing we’ve been doing is getting them in the tub several hours before bedtime.

This way they can be squeaky clean — and have plenty of time to wind down afterward.

2. Low lights

Have you ever been in a crowded restaurant and they suddenly dim the lights?

What happens? The noise level immediately decreases!

About 2 hours before bed, consider turning off most of the lights in the house.

This helps promote quiet, relaxation, and prepare everyone’s bodies for sleep.

mother puts her daughter to bed and kisses her in the evening

3. No evening screen time

According to Harvard Health, blue light from cell phones, tablets, televisions, and computers can disrupt your body’s circadian rhythm and reduce the body’s production of melatonin.

It’s best to avoid screen time 2-3 hours before bed.

This means if your child goes to bed at 8:00 p.m., all electronics must be off by 6:00 p.m. at the latest.

Two kids using tablet pc under blanket at night

4. Relaxing activities only

For some reason, it’s so tempting for parents to engage in an all-out tickle fest right before bed. (Or is that only me?!)

Roughhousing and tickle games only hype kids up, not relax them.

It’s best to save those games for another time.

mother and child daughter reading book in bed before going to sleep

5. Offer a snack

I saw a meme the other day that said, “Bedtime is the leading cause of dehydration in kids.” Haha. So true!

For my kids, it’s hunger too. Having a snack before teeth brushing time can really help hold them over until breakfast.

Just make sure to steer clear of foods with artificial food coloring and preservatives. (And loads of sugar!)

Kids eating healthy snack

6. Play soft music

My oldest daughter listens to the same lullaby CD every night.

She loves it and it really helps her relax.

Little girl listening to music before sleeping

7. White noise

If soothing music isn’t your kid’s jam, consider a white noise machine.

Typically we think of white noise as a way to help babies sleep better, but white noise can be effective for big kids, too!

8. Consider diffusing essential oils

There’s something really powerful about diffusing sleep-blend oils that help you relax and fall asleep.

Of course, do your own research to find your preferred brand and a blend that is safe for your kiddos.

RELATED: Essential Oils For Babies: 7 Types and Their Uses

9. Or, consider a roll-on

I love this roll-on sleep oil blend for my kiddos to help them sleep better.

It’s paraben and phthalate-free and safe for babies older than six months! (Smells really good, too!)

PRO TIP: This is great for tossing in your suitcase to help your kids sleep better when traveling!

10. Calming lotion

A gentle massage with baby lotion will calm your baby.

But before buying one, make sure that your baby is not allergic and always find out the ingredients of the product!

Here are our top picks:

Prices and images pulled from the Amazon Product Advertising API on:

11. Guided imagery

When my daughter can’t sleep, I walk her through a guided imagery exercise.

I ask her to imagine that she’s lying on a warm, comfortable beach…feeling the sensation of the cool breeze blowing through her hair and hearing the sound of the ocean waves gently crashing to the shore.

(Works every time!)

Mom is putting daughter to bed

12. Build your bond

At the end of a long, hard day it’s important to reconnect with your kiddo before bedtime.

I love to spend some time with each kid, affirming them and reminding them how much I love them.

We pray together, read stories, devotions, and just talk about the day.

RELATED: 14 Family Rituals to Make You Feel Closer

Alright, friends! What would you add to this list? Will you try some of these ideas?

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How to Get Kids to Fall Asleep FAST: 12 Genius Sleep Hacks

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2 Comments

  1. Thanks for the great ideas! I’d never considered an essential oil diffuser but maybe it’s something I’ll look into! I’m all about being calm and soothing during our bedtime routine but my husband is famous for starting goofy games and riling them up! It’s really sweet but sometimes so counterproductive!

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