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How to Make Bedtime Easier

Getting the kids to bed can be a struggle. There’s the kids that fight you every step of the way and others that insist they just aren’t tired. As parents, there’s something wonderful about bedtime rolling around. It’s a chance to have a bit of downtime without constant help needed from every angle. But sometimes, getting the kids to bed can be exhausting and leave you wanting to head right to bed yourself. These tips can help make bedtime easier so you can enjoy your evening hours without feeling stressed and exhausted over wrangling the kids to their bedroom.

I received an elo Storytime Pillow and compensation for this post. All opinions are my own. 

How to Make Bedtime Easier

How to make bedtime easier for your kids -- and you!

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Have a Set Bedtime – My boys have always had the same bedtime. As they start to get a bit older, I’m sure their bedtime will start to change, but for now my boys ages 8 and under all go to bed at 7:30pm. A lot of people think this is crazy when they hear their bedtime. My boys sleep a solid 11.5 hours most nights — and they need that sleep! Sleep experts have shared numerous studies on how much sleep to plan based on ages, so we used that as a starting point for picking our kids bedtime along with school times. They have to be up by 7 on a school morning, so 7:30 has worked wonderfully for our family. Find a set bedtime that will work with your family’s schedule and needs and stick to it as best as you can. Of course, vacations and holidays will throw off your schedule from time-to-time.

Keep a Routine – Your routine can be as simple as brushing teeth and a bedtime story before climbing into bed, or you can have a more elaborate routine. Decide how long you want your routine to take – 5 minutes? 30 minutes? and then plan out what your family wants to include. With so many little boys underfoot, by bedtime I’m exhausted and ready to rush them all off to bed as quickly as possible. We’ve set our routine to be quick and painless and because our kids are used to this routine, it’s helped them understand when it’s bedtime and not fight against getting to bed. We start by ushering off the kids to the bathroom and then they all pile into bed. We say a nighttime family prayer and turn out the lights. Other families use bedtime as an opportunity to spend quality one-on-one time without distractions with their kids. It’s a great way to have daddy time, too, if daddy is frequently busy and running around with work obligations.

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Nightlights Ease Fears – Little kids are easily scared at night. We’ve tried different methods from keeping the light on or leaving the door ajar. What has worked best for our family, though, is keeping a nightlight in their room. We have a twilight turtle in their room that shines stars up at the ceiling. They love the stars and it gives enough light to wipe away fears without being to bright to keep them awake. We also have a portable nightlight they can grab and take with them for middle of the night bathroom trips.

Drinks Cut-off Time – One of the most frequent reasons my boys would offer as their excuse to get out of bed was for drinks! They’d all cry they were thirsty and it made for a mad house of drinks and bathroom trips. Instead, we started a rule that there would be a cut-off time where no more drinks are allowed. For us, that’s an hour before bedtime to avoid potty accidents. The key to cutting off drinks, though, is having it routine as well as making it obvious to the kids when that time is approaching. They load up on drinks right before cut-off time and then we toss all the cups in the sink to help them remember. This has really helped to get the kids into bed and to stay in bed as their request for nighttime drinks no longer works.

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A Bedtime Story – My boys love books, and they dig through our bookshelf all day long reading and listening to books. For many families, reading a story is a relished part of the bedtime routine. For our family, we incorporate books throughout the day, but it’s hard to overlook the benefits of winding down after a busy day to a bedtime story. We recently received an elo Storytime Pillow, and it has filled a perfect gap in our bedtime routine!

elo Storytime Pillow

The elo Pillow comes preloaded with a SleepList with several kids storybooks that will be read to your child as long as they leave their head down. If they lift up their head, elo will alert them to lay back down to continuing reading the story. It encourages children to want to lay still and not hop out of bed.

The pillow starts with a 31 minute playlist that includes the following stories: Clifford the Small Red Puppy, Pirates Love Parades, Chimpanzee Sleeping in my Bed, Deep Blue, Baby Horse Says Goodnight.

My boys were immediately interested in the elo Pillow from my oldest at age 8 all the way down to my 2 year old. We rotate who gets a turn with the elo pillow at night by who went to bed without compliant and who turn is up next. They have all really loved listening to the stories. The elo has even given me a daytime break with my 4 year old. He’ll grab elo and head to his bed or the couch and calm down for a 30-minute quiet time break that feels like Heaven to me! Since the younger two still take naps and the older two are in school, it’s wonderful having a quiet time break where I can get my to-do list tackled.

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elo has definitely helped my boys transition to bedtime without coming out of their room with “just one more thing” they need to ask us. We love our elo pillow and will be picking up a few more SleepLists to add some variety soon!

SleepLists retail for $6.99 and there are lots of different story collections to choose from. Each list is a pre-arranged collection of around 30 minutes of stories and sounds to help ease your child to sleep. elo retails for $149, but you can take $30 off your own elo Storytime pillow with the coupon code MomsTake30! The pillow comes with a 30-day satisfaction guarantee. If your child does love elo, you can submit for a full refund and return of the pillow.

How do you make bedtime easier?

Alyssa (A Beautiful Chaos)

Thursday 8th of January 2015

I love these tips! We are in the process of potty training our oldest and I feel like the drink cut off is an awesome idea that I've never thought of before! Thanks for the advice!

Shannon Gosney

Wednesday 7th of January 2015

I remember how tough it was establishing a bedtime routine when our kids were younger. These are definitely some great tips!

Amanda O.

Wednesday 7th of January 2015

I could definitely use reminders of these tips some nights! And, by the way, I want that MOOSE! So cute!


Thursday 8th of January 2015

He was a gift from Alaska when my hubby went off on a family cruise and I was too pregnant to go with. :) He is my favorite of all our stuffed animals! :)


Tuesday 6th of January 2015

We do these. Usually my kids are fine with bedtime, but we've been on Christmas break and they're still both having a hard time getting to sleep early.


Tuesday 6th of January 2015

I want an elo pillow! lol Thanks for the great review. I totally agree that a routine is worth keeping and brings on less stress.

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