Bedtime is probably the one time when all parents can agree the struggle is real. For some reason, kids’ energy levels seem to peak when all you want is for them to GO TO SLEEP already. You may have searched for tricks or tips to help them take it down a notch, at which point you probably discovered the “burrito wrap” move. Okay, great, but what if your kiddo hated swaddling as a baby and still doesn’t like it? Hannah Sylcox, COTA, who went viral for her tips for calming kids at bedtime, recently shared three additional ones worth trying out—no burrito necessary.

1. The Rock and Roll

For this bedtime activity, you’ll hold your kiddo in your arms while sitting on the ground and rock back and forth. According to Sylcox, this move provides full-body deep-pressure input; Communikids explains this as “providing proprioceptive (muscle/joint awareness) information to the whole body, which has a calming and organizing effect on the central nervous system.” As a bonus, Sylcox says it’s a chance to cuddle with your kiddo, and we’ll take more of that all day, any day.

2. Blanket Swinging

This move provides what Sylcox calls “a balance of calming proprioceptive and vestibular input while avoiding complete enclosure.” What’s vestibular input? Something that stimulates the vestibular system, a network of parts in the inner ear that help our sense of balance and movement. Swinging in a blanket is a particular form of vestibular input known as rhythmic linear input, and has a calming effect on kids dealing with high arousal protocol (a.k.a. acting crazy before bedtime), according to San Diego Occupational Therapy.

3. Rowing and Swaying

Sylcox points out that this movement can “ help your child reset when they are overstimulated, overwhelmed, or [need help to] manage their tantrums.” To try swaying, grab your kiddo’s hands and move back and forth slowly while standing arm’s length apart. Rowing looks similar, except you are sitting cross-legged while holding hands with your toddler.

If you’ve tried these tips and are looking for more bedtime activities, check out our favorite sensory activities to use with kids before bedtime. After all, anything that’ll make the daily process of getting kids ready for Dreamland easier is worth a shot.

Your daily dose of joy and connection
Get the Tinybeans app