Does your toddler try on all of the stalling tactics at bed time?
“One more story”, “I need a drink of water!”, “Just one more kiss!”
Is every night a constant battle getting your little one to bed? Is the nightly routine dragging out so long that bedtime is getting later and later? If the answer is yes, I’ve got some tips for you!
✅ Ensure you have a really consistent bed time routine every night so your toddler knows what to expect come bedtime. Also use the same language around the routines each night. Such as, “Time for sleep, I love you. Goodnight!”
Children absolutely thrive off of routine and consistency!
✅ Set really firm boundaries around what they can and can’t do at bedtime. You could introduce some bedtime ‘rules’ or ‘manners’ and get your child involved in establishing what these are.
Get them to help draw up a poster to put near their cot/bed with the rules to act as a visual reminder.
✅ Don’t overwhelm your toddler with too many choices. Let them choose between two I.e. between two books rather than from the whole bookshelf.
✅ Offer your toddler the things they usually ask for before they do! E.g. Ask them if they need another sip of water or another kiss/cuddle before you leave the room. Meet their needs.
✅ If your toddler is toilet training, let them have ‘one last chance’ to go before bed, but that’s it. Reassure them that they’ve got a nappy on so it’s ok if they wee in their nappy during night.
✅ Use a timer ⏱ Set it for each part of the routine e.g. 10 minutes for bath time, 15 minutes for story time etc. Once the timer goes off, that’s it! They can’t be upset with you because the timer said it’s time to finish!
✅ Praise and reward your toddler for following the bedtime routine in order to create a change in their behaviour.