Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started
My Medicine

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Health & Parenting

Select An Article
Font Size

10 Surefire Solutions to End the Bedtime Battle

Fix your child’s bedtime routine once and for all.

How to Set the Scene and Create the Ritual for a Peaceful 'Good Night' continued...

Keep Your Child's Bedtime Consistent

Don't stray too far from what you establish as the appropriate bedtime, Waldburger says. Consistency is crucial. That means that bedtime stays the same even on the weekends and during the summer when days are longer.

And when your child does go to bed later than usual, try to get him up about the same time. Long says it's important not to let your child sleep in sometimes and not others so he doesn't start shifting his sleep pattern.

Let Your Child Wind Down

Just as adults can't go right from the busyness and activity of the day into sleep, neither can your child. She needs a transition to relax and settle down. "There should be no vigorous activity between a half hour and an hour before bedtime," Jennifer Shu, MD, a pediatrician with Children's Medical Group in Atlanta, says. Shu is also co-author of Heading Home with Your Newborn.

Establish a Routine for Your Child's Bedtime

Shu calls this the Four B's: bath, brushing teeth, books. and bed. The routine should start somewhere between 30 minutes and an hour before you want your child to be asleep, she says.

It's important that your child's routine be predictable, Waldburger says. Do the same things in the same order. "Over time, just doing the routine will make a child sleepy," she says.

And it works in reverse too. Soon, when your child feels tired, she will start asking for bath and books, Shu says.

With older kids who get themselves ready for bed, Long suggests playing beat the clock. Make a deal with them that if they get ready before the timer rings they get an extra story or five extra minutes to read to themselves.

Offer Lots of Choices for Kid's Bedtime

Offer your child simple either-or choices, not open-ended choices that will frustrate both of you, Waldburger says. The options are endless.

  • Would you like to skip or walk to the bath?
  • Would you like to wear the green pajamas or the blue ones?
  • Do you want to read two or three stories?
  • Would you like three kisses or five?

Next Article:

Today on WebMD

Girl holding up card with BMI written
Is your child at a healthy weight?
toddler climbing
What happens in your child’s second year.
father and son with laundry basket
Get your kids to help around the house.
boy frowning at brocolli
Tips for dealing with mealtime mayhem
mother and daughter talking
child brushing his teeth
Sipping hot tea
Young woman holding lip at dentists office
Which Vaccines Do Adults Need
rl with friends
tissue box
Child with adhd