Bedtime can be a very difficult time for parents of toddlers. They have loads of energy and constantly want to be on the go – my son does, at least. Even if he is feeling tired, he sometimes doesn’t want to settle down for several hours of rest.
We have tried a few different things for bedtime, and I think we have found what works. These tips have been good for us, so I wanted to share them with the world…hopefully others will find them helpful!
1. Establish a routine. This helps your child know what to expect each night at bedtime. The routine usually includes bath, snack, story, and tucking in, but each parent can create a routine that fits his/her family. It may seem like the child will fight bedtime worse if he/she expects it, but really having a schedule can make things much easier – for you and for them!
2. Give him a “cuddle buddy”. Having a small blanket or stuffed animal may allow a toddler to feel safer at night. My son actually has two – a Mickey Mouse and a stuffed monkey. He has slept with them for so long that he won’t sleep without them! Not only can this help them get to sleep, but can help toddlers stay asleep throughout the night.
3. Read them a book before bed. Not only is this great bonding time between parent and child, but reading is a very relaxing activity. It can help the child wind down from an exciting day. Going to bed after they have enjoyed a calming activity usually makes it easier for them to fall asleep without a struggle.
4. Stick to your guns! Toddlers need a set bedtime, and it’s important that parents stick to the same time each night when possible. Allowing the child to stall or stay up later to watch a cartoon will do nothing to help future nights.
Being consistent teaches them they will still have to go to sleep, no matter what they try. Even if they get up from their bed several times each night, it’s more effective to return them to bed immediately without engaging them in conversation than allowing them to stay up longer.
What are your best tips for making bedtime easier?
Kecia Hambrick is the owner and editor of Southern Girl Ramblings, a blog where she blabs about parenting, getting healthy, saving money, and life in general. She also enjoys featuring product reviews and hosting family friendly giveaways!