Truth be told, some children are just easier than others to put to bed. Avoid nighttime stress by using these five helpful toddler bedtime tricks.
Trick #1: Create a bedtime routine
Routines are important for children and bedtime is no exception. Create a schedule that works and remember, consistency is key. If eight o'clock is bedtime, then stick to that schedule each night.
Your toddler will quickly associate steps of the routine with bedtime. Whether it be bath, pyjamas, brushing teeth, story and then bed, they will soon com to understand and follow this routine. A helpful toddler bedtime trick is to allow your child to pick out their pyjamas and/or story. This will make them feel in control and independent, which is also importan for your growing child.
Trick #2: Bedtime comfort toys
Another helpful toddler bedtime trick is to let them bring one or two toys they find comforting to bed with them. A soft stuffed toy, their best-loved blanket or even their favourite dinky car can help ease their fears as they try to fall asleep. If they wake during the night, these comforting toys may help them fall back to sleep without you coming in to soothe them.
Trick #3: Be firm at bedtime
It is beneficial for parents/guardians to stay firm when putting their little ones to bed. Toddlers are no different from older children, as they have an amazing ability to prolong bedtime. They will go to great lengths and use a variety of excuses to extend bedtime. Five more minutes can quickly turn into ten more minutes, fifteen more minutes, etc.
Getting your toddler to stay in their big bed is another stressful challenge for parents. Avoid becoming angry and without saying a word, simply walk into their bedroom, put them back into bed, say goodnight and close the door. This method may take a few attempts, before it is effective. But, once your toddler realises they're not going to get their way, they will probably give up and fall fast asleep.
Trick #4: Remain calm
Parents dealing with a very persistent toddler may find this helpful bedtime trick nearly impossible, but rest assured it is effective. Your child knows that keeping your patience in check at the end of the day isn't always easy. By losing your cool, you give them negative attention, which will not work to your benefit.
Take a deep breath and speak in a firm voice to avoid an unnecessary tantrum. Having to settle down an unhappy child will only prolong bedtime, allowing them to stay up longer. Remember you are possibly five minutes away from snuggling up with your favourite television show or book.
Trick #5: Prepare yourself
Preparing yourself for the adventure ahead is a very helpful toddler bedtime trick. A successful day with your children is most likely achieved when you remain three steps ahead of them. This rule should apply at bedtime as well.
When bedtime arrives, have everything ready and waiting for them. If every night they ask for a drink, then have it ready for them. Make that sudden potty emergency part of your nightly routine. If you know they need that special teddy bear to fall asleep, have it tucked into bed waiting for them. This will help eliminate those five more minute requests each night.
Applying these helpful toddler bedtime tricks will improve the nighttime woes. Remember every child is different, what works with one may not work with another.
You will find the most effective method and bedtime will get easier.