Six ways to make toddlers' bedtime a little
easier for all
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[March 15, 2014]
Toddlers. We love them. They are active, sweet and special, and they
amaze us and melt our hearts on an hourly basis. But, wow, some of
them love to test us and fight sleep.
While there are many toddlers out there who go to sleep happily and
you don't hear from them until morning, there are many other
toddlers who try to negotiate, stall or delay — like the best lawyer
in town. There are many parents who are struggling with their
toddler's bedtime process, so Susie Parker, certified child sleep
consultant and founder of Sleep Baby Love, shares some helpful
information to create a solid bedtime process to help your toddlers
go to bed and stay in bed.
Tip 1: Teach your child what
is expected of them.
As parents, we sometimes expect a lot from our children. So much,
that we forget that a few short years ago, they were just a tiny
little newborn that you were rocking to sleep. We have to realize
that as much as we would
like love for our
kids to oblige everything we do and say, they are just young kids
whose minds run a mile a minute. By understanding that going through
a bedtime routine isn't always fun or easy for some toddlers, we can
help make it easier and more fun by thinking about things from a
Tip 2: Make your bedtime routine fun.
Be careful not to rile up your toddlers before bedtime. Do things
that will help them enjoy the bedtime process.
Try having fun throughout the bedtime process:
Sing silly songs
while brushing teeth.
Have a race to get
Play a game for fun as part of your
bedtime routine — I Spy, Simon Says or rhyme words.
Tip 3: Eliminate the power struggle.
You are the parent, and you set the
rules and the time that your toddler goes to sleep. But, by giving
options and picking your battles, you eliminate a full-on power
struggle and will make your bedtime routine much more enjoyable —
for both you and your child. Provide options throughout the bedtime
process to help empower your child:
Would you like to
wear these pajamas or these?
Would you like to
brush your teeth before or after bath?
Would you like to pick your books or
[to top of second
Tip 4: Set sleep rules.
Does your toddler really know what it means to go to sleep? Ask
them. It would be great to hear the different responses. Assuming
your toddler is out of a crib and transitioned to a big bed, your
child's room allows a lot of freedom, and of course some would
choose to play rather than go to sleep. If you are struggling on a
nightly basis to get your child to sleep, get back to basics. Have a
family meeting and explain the rules of sleep and how sleep works.
"You lie down in your bed, shut your eyes and go to sleep" (yes,
Explain in your child's language the benefits of sleep and how it
helps them grow big and strong so they can spend more time playing
at the park, running fast and so on.
Tip 5: Offer rewards for following the sleep rules.
Use a sticker chart to help reward your toddlers for following
the sleep rules. Have they stayed in their bed the whole night?
Could they earn a shiny sticker? Get your child invested in the
process by having them help make the chart, or pick out an online
printable. Include them in shopping and picking out the stickers.
Tip 6: Blame somebody else.
"Going to sleep is not always your toddler's favorite subject,
and if your child is still resistant to the act of going to sleep, I
give you permission from this point on to blame me, Sleep Susie,"
says Parker. "Tell them that you have a friend that is going to help
you follow your sleep rules. This will help you not look like the
bad guy, and hopefully your child wants to do what Sleep Susie
Share your success!
So who's ready to make some changes to help set the framework for
your toddler's sleep? Following some of these tips will help with
implementing changes so your toddler can sleep better at night —
without the battles. Good luck!
Sleep Baby Love news
release received from MyPRGenie]
Susie Parker is a certified infant and child sleep consultant and
the founder of Sleep Baby Love. To find many other sleep tips,
tricks and advice — and coming soon, more posts about toddler sleep
— like Sleep Baby Love's Facebook page at
www.facebook.com/sleepbabylove. Parker offers many sleep
consulting services via phone, email and Skype aimed to help your
child love sleep. For more information, she can be reached at