October 27, 2022

Create a Sleep Reward Chart to Help Your Child Stay in Bed

A sticker chart can help your child become motivated to stay in bed and eventually fall asleep on their own at night. By giving your child small rewards each time they stay in bed until their designated wake-up time, you can reinforce the positive behavior of staying in bed as well as help your child learn to fall asleep on their own.

This sleep chart will also teach them how to set goals and achieve them, which is beneficial to children of all ages and helps them develop better self-esteem and leadership skills. While a sticker chart can help you and your child make positive changes that lead to better rest and healthier habits overall.

A sleep chart, or sticker chart for staying in bed, can be customized to fit your unique needs.

Limitless child's room with toys

What you’re doing wrong when it comes to sticker charts

A reward chart can be an effective tool for helping your child get enough sleep. However, it’s easy to fall into the trap of using an extrinsic motivation strategy that is based on sticker charts, incentives, and rewards.

The problem with these strategies is that they don’t address the underlying need for intrinsic motivation by rewarding kids for things they are intrinsically motivated to do!

Are you growing Desperate to Make Your Kid Sleep on Time?

If you are growing desperate for your child to sleep on time, this post is going to provide you with some things you can do for yourself and for your child. We will provide some actionable solutions.

The first step is to come up with a target bedtime and pick a reward system that will encourage your child’s focus. For example, if your child is 18 months old and has sleep issues, they may need something like a bedtime sticker chart or morning time chart so that they can get used to how long it takes them to fall asleep.

Think about how you’re going to positively reinforce your child for getting out of bed at an earlier time than normal because these rewards are what’ll help him get excited about practicing his new schedule. If he stays in bed an extra 10 minutes, do you have something special planned? Make sure you plan it out well and make it seem exciting for him.

The best idea is to use a sticker chart or reward chart. Create the chart for your child, who will place stickers on the chart for staying in bed. It’s just as easy to fill out the sleep chart at night as it is for children: list what they need to do and place checkmarks when they’re completed.

Once they have three stickers in a row, they can earn some sort of reward, try rewarding them with something they would love as soon as they stay in bed longer than usual- something like a new toy, going outside for ice cream, or watching favorite cartoons without any interruptions!

This can also include larger rewards that are really exciting, like allowing your child to pick which activities they want as their prize.

The more you care about your child and their needs, the more likely you’ll be able to find the right solution for them. Older kids like stickers and charts, so this is an excellent way to get them excited about staying in bed longer at night.

mother and daughter talking on the bed

Why Rewards Systems Work

Here’s an idea: create a sleep reward chart. Simply give your child stickers, and they will earn points for things like staying in bed during the morning time, being a good sleeper at night, or potty training on the potty. After they have enough points, they can trade them for something they want–like that new big girl bed or new clothes.

Steps to Creating a Sleep Chart

To make your child stay in bed longer, print out your sticker chart. Each time they stay up past their normal bedtime and give into the sleep, they can collect another sticker on the chart.

Here’s how you can make a bedtime reward chart that is fun for both you and your child:

  • 1) Plan Out What Rewards You Will Offer
  • 2) Print it out
  • 3) Set up the Area
  • 4) Choose Something Special That She Wants To Do
  • 5) Teach Her How To Use It
  • 6) Implement it in your child’s life

baby sleeping next to her mother

What Works Better than a Bedtime Reward Chart

Little celebrations and bonuses along the way are more motivating than waiting until your child finally gets all their goals done before rewarding them. In addition, knowing they will get something special soon enough keeps children engaged with the process and encourages them to keep trying every day.

The reward chart can be a great way for kids to earn small prizes such as stickers or a story, but what really motivates kids are rewards that are just for them. Whether it’s giving your child their favorite cereal for breakfast the next morning or taking him on an outing at the end of the week, make sure your child knows ahead of time what is going to happen when he makes his goal.

Celebrating a child’s accomplishment after using the chart will help encourage them to use it more often. For example, if your child makes a goal to stay in bed until 8:00 AM and has been rewarded with stickers up until this point, let him know that if he reaches his goal tonight, you’ll take him out for ice cream tomorrow! You might even ask if there’s anything else he would like from the store.

Keep these ideas in mind when setting up your chart so that you’re better able to motivate your little one throughout his day.

Baby playing with a clock with mother next to him
Baby playing with a clock with mother next to him

How to use free Printable Charts to Help End Bedtime Struggle

Kids of all ages love charts and stickers, which is why we have explained printable reward charts for bedtime.

1) A Visual Bedtime Routine Chart

This visual bedtime routine chart is for 18 months to 2 years toddlers.

Children need consistent, structured, and predictable bedtimes, which can be difficult to do when you’re exhausted. A visual chart can help your child stay in bed and make it easier for you as well!

But how do you get your toddler to stay in bed? One way is by creating a sleep chart! A sticker chart is an easy way of rewarding good behavior that helps reinforce positive habits and encourages desired behaviors such as staying in bed.

Keep it simple for your toddler because your goal is just to teach them what’s expected of them. You want to focus on just one new thing at a time, so they are not overwhelmed with too many expectations.

2) Bedtime Sticker Chart

Use a bedtime sticker chart when your kid is 2.5 years old. This kind of chart can help your child understand the rewards of staying in bed, as well as the consequences of getting out of bed and not going back to sleep.

Put a sticker on the big star at the top of the page for every time your child stays in bed. Let them choose their own reward after they have earned enough stickers!

For example, start with 4 tasks your toddler must do before lying down to go to sleep: put on pajamas, brush teeth, say night-night story, and lay down in bed. If they don’t follow these steps, then no task or an extra task (brush teeth) must be completed before laying down. Repeat until all tasks are followed without breaking any rules.

The goal is to get your child to stay in bed. It’s up to you if you want to use this technique because it might work better than just rewarding them with something like a new toy, but that’s completely up to you.

Remember that this technique will work best if you make it, so they only need one more thing before they’re allowed into bed – making sure they brush their teeth is a good idea because it takes care of two things at once!

Confident Boy waking up from sleep in the morning

3) Bedtime Rewards Chart

If you are looking for more creative ways to make your 3+ years of kids staying in bed more fun and achievable, then this is the reward chart for you!

This is an ideal bedtime reward chart for older kids that could have more or different rewards than the sticker chart. It’s also important to note, that some children may not respond well to extra privileges instead of an old fashioned bed routine.

The goal of these charts is to offer a fun way for your child to stay in bed and get healthy sleep habits.

Sit with your child and talk about the expectations for their behavior each night and how they can earn their bedtime goodies. Encourage them to earn enough points for the desired prize, such as: watching TV one night a week, going out to dinner as a family one night a month, or visiting grandparents twice a year. Then ask them to start keeping track of their successes with stickers or tokens on the chart.

It will boost self-esteem and remind them what they need to do to keep earning prizes. Remember to be patient, consistent, and positive when trying new routines like these!

Limitless child and baby sleeping


What age can you use reward charts?

Reward charts are best to use when your child is three years old and older. These types of charts should be used sparingly, only when you feel like your child needs extra encouragement.

Create the chart by writing down all the positive things that will happen if your child stays in bed all night (e.g., breakfast with mom and dad, getting to pick their favorite TV show). When they stay in bed all night, give them the sticker or reward that corresponds with that day on the chart.

A reward chart is an excellent parenting tool that helps children understand the natural consequences of their actions. If a child refuses to go to bed or get out of bed, he may lose privileges or stickers that he has earned on the sleep chart. All this may sound like it’s going to be hard, but if you and your child create the plan together and make it clear what consequences are in store for breaking the rules, then staying in bed will become more rewarding than not.

Dad carrying confident child to fly

Do reward charts work for 3-year-olds?

Reward charts are often used for children aged 3 and up. It can be difficult for children this age to stay in bed without a reward. A sticker chart is the best option that may work well.

What should be on my toddler’s reward chart?

The toddler’s reward chart should include:

  • Encourage, praise, pat, and hug.
  • Acknowledge your child’s achievement with Hi-5.
  • Read their favorite storybook.
  • Play your child’s favorite cartoons.
  • Avoid sugary snacks such as chocolates and candy.
  • Engage in an interactive family activity or a puzzle.


Everyone knows that kids sleep the best when they feel rested and well-rested. Without sleep, children are less likely to do well in school and social situations. Staying up at night is not only challenging for adults but also for kids as they usually don’t have the skills or understanding of what is going on.

Practice a sleep chart with your child that will help him stay in bed longer: get some stickers and start rewarding them with one sticker each time they stay in bed until 7 am. Put the chart somewhere where it’s visible, so your child sees it often. As soon as they’ve collected enough stickers, let them choose something special as a BONUS!

Taryn Crimi

Taryn Crimi

Taryn is an international intuitive, focused on helping to empower you manifest your best life!

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