Why Do Toddlers Get Hyper At Bedtime (And What You Can Do About It)

If it’s bedtime and your toddler is running laps around the house, you’re probably ripping your hair out as we speak. Why do toddlers get hyper at bedtime? How can you ensure that this exhausting nightmare never happens again?

Toddlers will become hyper toward their bedtime usually because they’re in fact too tired. After a certain point, your toddler will gain a sudden burst of energy. That’s why we recommend creating a consistent and relaxing bedtime routine for your toddler.

When it comes to a toddler’s hyperactivity during bedtime, there can be a few causes behind it. Learn more about why toddlers get hyper at bedtime and what you can do about it to get them in bed without losing your mind.

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Reasons Why Your Toddler is Hyper

Although it sounds made up, your hyper toddler being overtired is definitely real. Being overtired means that after your tired toddler remained awake, their body produced adrenaline and cortisol to keep them fully alert. As a result, you now have a little monster doing somersaults over and over again.

The best way to avoid an overtired toddler is by watching for cues that they’re sleepy. This can include: 

  • Yawning
  • Clumsiness
  • Clinginess
  • Attention demanding
  • Grumpy mood
  • Uninterested with toys
  • Fussy with food
  • Crying or grizzling

When you see these signs, be sure not to waste any time. Start their bedtime routine immediately upon seeing any tiredness cues in order to avoid an adrenaline rush before bedtime. Even if you see these signs during the day, then it means nap time has arrived.

Creating the Perfect Bedtime Routine

While the original bedtime routine of the four B’s (bath, brush teeth, book, bed) will suffice, there are a few more factors to consider. Does your toddler look at a screen less than an hour before bed? Are they getting enough naps throughout the day? These facets and more can make a world of difference when bedtime comes around.

Firstly, make sure your toddler is avoiding all screens and blue light at least an hour before bed. Blue light can deter both your and your toddler’s melatonin levels. Try replacing this screen time with a relaxing activity like a calming walk or bath.

Another important rule is to avoid any over-stimulating activities right before bedtime. This can put your toddler in play mode and become even fussier when you try to get them in bed. Create a relaxing environment that won’t stimulate your toddler and will get them in sleep mode ASAP.

When creating the perfect bedtime routine whether it’s the 4 B’s or includes a calming activity, the most crucial factor is that it’s consistent. Toddlers need routine in order to better behave at bedtime. 

How Much Sleep Do They Need?

If your toddler is consistently overtired before bedtime, then you may need to create a more consistent napping routine throughout the day. While some toddlers only need one nap a day, your toddler may be needing two. If your toddler is still under the age of two, then they may possibly need to have two naps every day. 

The amount of time your child needs to sleep depends on their age, so here’s a quick list of how much sleep your child needs depending on their age range (all hours including naps):

  • Four to twelve months: Twelve to sixteen hours every twenty-four hours 
  • One to two years: Eleven to fourteen hours every twenty-four hours
  • Three to five years: Ten to thirteen hours every twenty-four hours

With these hours in mind, plan their naps accordingly throughout the day to ensure they are getting enough sleep for their age. This will also prevent them from becoming overtired and hyper at bedtime. If your toddler is between eighteen to twenty-four months, WhatToExpect offers this sample nap schedule:

  • 7 a.m.: Awake
  • 12:30 p.m.: Nap
  • 2:30/3 p.m.: Wake
  • 7:30/8 p.m.: Bedtime

When You’re Calm, They’re Calm

Toddlers will likely be searching for a reaction from you and by remaining calm you can make them calm as well. Not only will it help your mindset but it will also defuse the stressful situation at hand when your toddler is avoiding bedtime. 

When you and your toddler are doing a bedtime routine, be mentally present and enjoy the calmness of the routine. Your toddler may have trouble calming down if you’re also frazzled thinking about the next day’s obstacles. Toddlers are excellent mood readers and will act accordingly.

Think about what makes you calm. The scent of lavender? Classical music? A scalp massage? Whatever it may be, it will likely also work for your toddler. Using calming techniques during their bedtime routine can help ensure that their eyes are getting heavy even before their head hits the pillow.

Embrace the intimate moments of their bedtime routine instead of just going through the motions. Even if your toddler doesn’t remember these moments down the line, they will be special ones for you to remember when they’re older.


If you have a hyper toddler before bedtime, then it’s likely that they’re overtired. To prevent overtiredness, make sure that your child is having the right amount of naps during the day and getting enough sleep each night. 

For an effective bedtime routine, consistency is key. By keeping the time of the routine and activities involved consistent every day, your toddler will understand that straying from it is not possible. Try the classic 4 B’s to kickstart their nightly routine.

Also, ensure that at least an hour before bedtime that there is complete calm all around the house. Avoid all screens, blue light, stimulating activities, and sugary treats around bedtime to keep your toddler on the right track to dreamland. 

Of course, you being calm will help calm your toddler. When you’re being mindful and staying present in the moment, you can assure your child that you’re giving them all the attention they need stress-free. Play calming music, use a lavender bath bomb, or do whatever you need to keep you and your toddler calm and ready for bed.

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