- Have a solid bedtime time routine. This means same time, same order, same place every night. This gets kids bodies in tune with bedtime and helps them to start to settle down for sleep.
- No Media or rough-play at least one hour before bedtime. Screens, especially phones and tablets excite the neurons in the brain and can make it more difficult for kids to settle down for bed.
- Plan the Work and Work the Plan! This means plan ahead for those “I just need…” scenarios. You can circumvent these by making sure they’ve had their snack or water (if allowed) and that their favorite lovey(s), blanket or what have you, is with them.
- Circumvent Any Requests with Coaching. “I just need…” is a common tactic among toddlers and kids trying to push the bedtime boundaries. Having a pre-conference about “bedtime is bedtime” sets this boundary strongly and lets them know extra requests after bedtime will not be granted. It might sound like this, “Once I tuck you, it’s bedtime. I will not respond to any requests. It doesn’t mean I don’t love you, it means it’s bedtime. Make sure you have everything you need.”
- Allow One Exception to Requests. This is the last potty trip if you are in the midst of potty training. This will die down quickly and it’s important to allow for that progress to continue even if you think it’s just a stall tactic. Make it as boring as possible and allow/encourage your child to do as much on his/her own as possible. If they can go all by themselves through the whole process, let them do it. Give as little help and attention as possible. Yet, still give encouragement for success, especially if you are early in the process.
For exact bedtime strategies, see the class on Toddler sleep below, which gives 3 different methods for bedtimes to choose from, along with more tips for trouble areas such as nightmares, middle of the night wakings, naptimes and more!
Bedtimes or any time your child pushes boundaries, learn how to prevent and deflate the struggles
Want your evenings back? Choose from the 3 bedtime methods and lots of troubleshooting tips for smooth bedtimes!
Bedtimes or any time, this class has you covered with all our positive discipline tools for toddlers