Toddlers are great at stalling when it’s time for bed. If it’s any consolation, you’re not alone in this bedtime battle. Many parents go through this phase in their child’s life some time during their growing up years, but rest assured bedtime battles can be defeated as long as you’re consistent in what you do and say.
Toddlers use many different stall tactics such as asking for sips of water, there’s a monster under the bed or in the closet, they’ve lost a favorite stuffed toy, they want another book read, or have to use the potty. All of these are excuses to avoid bedtime and they all can be resolved ahead of time. While your child may be genuinely scared of a monster hiding under his/her bed or hiding in the closet, if they use this excuse every night then you know they are just stalling.
Here are some bedtime battle tips to help your toddler become more familiar with their bedtime routine and put an end to any delay tactics along the way.
Toddlers are accustomed to routines. Bedtime routines are no different. When it’s time for bed, do everything related to settling in for the night. These include such things as taking a bath, getting into pajamas, brushing their teeth, going potty, putting toys away, drinking some warm milk or sips of water, reading stories and cuddle time.
You can also warn your little one when it’s close to bedtime. At this age they don’t know how long 10 minutes is so if you have something to do and it will take 10 or 15 minutes then say to them as soon as you finish folding and putting away the laundry, then it time for them to get ready for bed.
Not only are toddlers good at stalling, they are also great negotiators. Give some leniency and allow them to ask for one more story, for example, but under your rule, it has to be a short one. Feel free to allow your sweet one to make simple decisions like choosing which pajamas to wear. When you’re more flexible with choices, then your child will feel like they have some control in what they want or can do.
For a toddler who likes to sip water before bedtime, put a sippy cup filled with water on the nightstand for an easy reach.
If your toddler has a hard time falling asleep, rubbing his back may soothe and lull him to sleep. However, keep this short, otherwise, you may find yourself rubbing their back for hours! LOL!
Whatever methods you use with your toddler be consistent, keep your word and hold your ground. Don’t give them the power to change your mind because they’ll keep pushing your limits and you’ll end up losing the bedtime battles.
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