Solution For Keeping Little Ones In Bed {so you can have your quiet time}


Lately, I have seen a lot of status updates on Facebook from parents that mention their small children – toddlers and preschoolers – waking up WAY too early in the morning. And I know that when the children wake before mommy wakes – a quiet time is sure to not happen. Children need our full attention so having our eyes on the Bible is not best when our eyes need to be watching them!

I know there are mothers desperate to get their quiet time in, in the morning. So this post is for you! I have two solutions – we will start with #1!

1. My sisters taught me a trick that they both used. I tried their trick and it worked!! Cover the last two numbers of the clock with a piece of paper. Then write on the paper the hour that you would like your child to come out of their room in the morning. In our home, it has always been 7. Then teach your child to match the two numbers! When the two numbers match they can come out of their room. At bedtime, I would show them how the 7’s were matching (they usually went to bed around 7:30pm) and I’d remind them to not come out of their room until there was a matching 7.

I’d lay books beside their bed and they had permission to get up and read or play quietly in their rooms – just not come out until there was a matching 7. Sometimes there were rewards for obeying. If they mistakenly came out, I gently took them back to the room – showed them that the numbers were not matching and encouraged them to read and play until they saw matching numbers. This took time and training to get them to this point – but once they got it, it was so worth the training time! This is still the “rule” in our home to this day.

(If you have tried other solutions to no avail AND you have tried #1 – go to solution #2!)

2. Do not try to have a morning quiet time alone…oh I know it’s painful to not have that time that you dream of having – but some seasons of life do not permit this possibility. Either you have to get up very very very early (which may make you sleep deprived and not such a nice mommy or wife) – OR simply give yourself grace during this season of life. Read the Bible with your children during breakfast or lunch or wait until after they are down for afternoon naps or bedtime, and then spend quality time with Lord.

Please remember, this season of life is NOT forever. Add ten years to your children’s lives. If you have a 1, 3 and 5 year old in ten years they will be 10, 13, and 15. You will not be bathing them, cutting up their food, and dressing them forever. In ten years, the opposite will be happening. Perhaps they will be preparing the food for you and doing the laundry to help you!

So persevere during this season of life. Remember Philippians 3:14 – “I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.”

Press on sweet sisters and mommies! Strain toward the prize. We are not home to heaven yet. These days may be hard – but we have great hope in knowing that one day all the pain and trials we face will be over and we will step onto the shores of heaven!!! Oh what a glorious day it will be!!!

Walk with the King!




  1. I’m sorry the link is broken and I would LOVE to read this article. This is the EXACT problem I’m having…and when i do get a chance to wake up before them the moment I step {quietly} to the stairs both of my little ones are by my side.

  2. I love these tips! I’ve incorporated #2, but LOVE #1 for my 3-year-old. What a great idea for the little ones that don’t quite know how to tell time yet. We’ve had two difficult years after almost losing our youngest son, Judah, (more on and I’m finding now, more than ever, it’s absolutely essential I have time with the Lord daily. His grace is sufficient! The more time I spend in His presence, the more grace, patience, joy and love I have to pour into my husband and children. Love your blog! Thank you for taking the time to pour into others!

  3. 7:30 is the magic number in our house. I tried teaching my 3 yo the clock trick, but it was just too many numbers. Now, I have a nightlight plugged into a timer in both my kiddos’ rooms. When the light comes on, they’re allowed to get up! This also gives flexibility if we had a late night or want different times on wknds. Helps with daylight savings too!

  4. This post is so timely as this happened to me this morning! I was so excited for my time with the Lord, but the exact moment I opened my Bible, I heard my youngest crying in his crib. Thanks for the great tips, especially the point about season of life. I know my children won’t be so little forever, so I try to cherish each stage of development and squeeze in my Bible time later. Blessings, Courtney!

  5. These are great tips! The first one is a great idea, Courtney, and I like Christine’s nightlight idea. I give God praise because we’ve trained our 2&3 year olds to wait patiently in bed till mommy (or daddy) gets them up. They are good about staying very quiet–for the most part!– and playing in their beds now. Last summer they woke up with the roosters as soon as the first ray of sun light was over the horizon, which was extremely early!!! I quickly became run-down and sleep deprived. My hubby is a resident doctor so my sleep pattern isn’t fixed anyways. Now that they’re old enough to understand the concept of waiting patiently in their rooms, I can have quiet time with Jesus, a moment to drink a full cup of coffee and energy to greet them joyfully every morning. I give God praise for this because He restored the energy and rest I So needed!! Thankful that many difficulties in life are just a season.

  6. I remember being so frustrated when my little ones would disturb my quiet time, until I realized that transitioning from one form of worship, i.e. devotional time, to another form of worship, i.e. caring for the kids should not be a source of irritation, and that my outlook was messed up. 🙂 I remember doing devotions when the kids were napping if they work up early, or I tried to read as I watched them play outback. The sunshine and the “Son” shining into my heart did me a world of good. 🙂

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