How to Get Kids to Sleep When It's Light Outside

by Heather Burdo

Summer is officially here. Sunshine means lots of fun outdoor activities for the kids and relaxation in the sun for parents. It all sounds like a dream until nighttime. While the long days of sunshine are nice, it’s not so great when it comes time to tuck the little ones in at night.

You can probably relate with these words coming from your child, “But mom, it’s still light out. It’s not fair that I have to go to bed.” It may seem like there is no reasoning with your child even if you tell them over and over that even though it’s light out it’s still time for bed. Thankfully, there are some tips that can help you overcome the hurdle of bedtime during the summer months.

Blackout Curtains

This is one genius must-have for your home. Putting up some blackout curtains in your child’s room will make it seem like it’s dark out while it’s still light out at their bedtime during the summer months. As an added bonus, if your child is the type to wake up early in the morning, they won’t see the sun shining is as much, which means more time to potentially sleep for you.

You can purchase blackout curtains at most stores that sell regular curtains. The only thing that is different is the material they use to block out the sun.

Get Those Kiddos Exhausted

Do something fun with your little one about an hour or two before bedtime. Whether it’s running around playing tag, playing outside, or even dancing around in the living room, get some exercise in so they will be more tired when it’s time to put them to bed. They will be less likely to argue with you about the light outside if they are tired. Not to mention, you will be able to bond with your kids everyday. It’s not just about getting them to sleep but also making some great memories.

Bedtime Routine

Make a routine so your child knows bedtime is coming up. Make sure it’s the same every night. For example. If you play with your child or let them run around outside, have them take a bath next, have a snack, and then read a book to calm down. Having a routine like that makes everything less complicated and your child’s body will be on a set schedule.

Limit Sugar and Caffeine

If you want to give your child a bit of sugar, morning or lunch time is the best. It’s ideal to avoid sugar at all costs around the evening and night time. Caffeine is also something to keep out of their reach. Of course, you’re not going to hand your child a cup of coffee - It’s the candy bars and soda you have to watch. Many people don’t realize a chocolate bar can have caffeine. Having sugar can affect a child’s nervous system causing them to be energetic and not be able to fall asleep.

Limit Screen Time Before Bed

By getting your child off electronics for about an hour or two before bedtime, it can help them wind down. Screen time gets a child’s brain going and can get them hyped up. Although it’s based on a personal preference, it’s ideal not to have a television in a kid’s room so they can fall asleep easier.


White Noise Machine

It can be hard for your little one to fall asleep if they hear noises outside or just can’t seem to get tired on their own. A white noise machine can help. Usually a peaceful rainfall sound on the machine can do the trick.

Getting children to wind down and fall asleep when it’s still light outside isn’t always an easy task. With the tips above, it can be a bit easier. If you have any further tips, please share in the comments to help your fellow parents out.



Heather is a freelance writer from New York. When she isn't writing about parenting, she is tending to her own two handsome boys. She enjoys all things related to motivation and mindset. All work aside, she enjoys activities outdoors and being with her family. 

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