10 Tips for a Stress-free Bedtime for Kids

bedtime-toddlerBelow is a guest post by Jennifer Johnson, who writes on the topics of Nurse Practitioner Schools. She welcomes your comments at her email: j.johnson19june@gmail.com.

All moms know it can be a challenge getting their little one into bed from time to time. Waking life is just too exciting, and some children—particularly two- and three-year-olds—would rather fight to the death than go to bed. For some parents, this is a constant struggle night after night. To help eliminate the “bedtime battle,” here are some good tips and techniques for getting your little devil in bed asleep like the precious angel you know is in there somewhere!

1.) Establish a routine. Children that are toddlers and older respond very well to consistency. A consistent bedtime should be put in place so they can learn that they go to bed at, say, 8 p.m. every night—no exceptions. If one night they go to bed at 8 p.m. and the next night they go to bed at 9 p.m., they won’t learn the expectations you have for them and will begin to push to stay up later and later.
2.) Turn off all media and get quiet. Young children hate to be left out of the excitement just because they have to go to bed. If you turn off the TV and cut back on any lively chatter and laughter with your spouse, your child won’t feel like they are missing out on something when they go to bed.
3.) Give them a small bit of authority. This doesn’t mean they get to choose when they go to bed, but if your child is resisting bedtime because they want to be the boss, allow them to make small bedtime decisions, like picking out which pajamas to wear or which stuffed animal they want to snuggle.
4.) Turn on a nightlight or small lamp. Many children are afraid of being left alone in the dark. A nightlight makes things less scary. You may want to quietly leave on a kid-friendly CD.
5.) Read to them before bed. This practice not only helps lull them to sleep, but makes bedtime something to look forward to, not dread.
6.) Promise to return. If your child freaks out when you leave the room, tell them you’ll return in 10 minutes to give them an extra hug and kiss if they can lie down quietly the whole time. Many times they’ll be sawing logs before the 10 minutes are even up.
7.) Practice leaving them alone during the day. Go into another room to load the dishwasher or fold laundry, and let your child get comfortable knowing you are in the next room during the day. It will help them be more comfortable without you at night, too.
8.) Keep them active. An active toddler during the afternoon turns into a blissfully sleepy toddler after dinner. Run around with them outside or let them peddle a trike to burn off some excess energy.
9.) Adjust nap time. Children who take too long of naps or naps too late in the day may not want to go to sleep at bedtime. Keep naptime consistent, too.
10.) Encourage them. On those rare nights when bedtime is not a struggle, tell them you are proud they are going to bed on their own like a big boy or girl. Always acknowledge and reward your children during the times they choose to do the right thing.

This guest post is contributed by Jennifer Johnson, who writes on the topics of Nurse Practitioner Schools. She welcomes your comments at her email Id: j.johnson19june@gmail.com.

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