Toddlers are more harder to get into a bedtime routine than a young baby so developing good habits early will prevent problems as more children are born in the family. I heard a of a family in the local area with 7 kids the 1 year slept on mums arms in bed the 3 year old in small bed near mum and in the night dad creeps down stairs as the rest of the children climb in to bed one by one. Imagine the relationship between the parents bed time should be relaxing for the whole family each in their own bed feeling settled,secure and having a full deep sleep pattern.
So what tips can we offer you if your children won’t settle in their own bed at night.
Parents need to feel needed by their children and often they feel sorry for the child that cries and wants to stay up,until mum goes to bed or dad carries then up once they have falling alseep on the couch.
- The longer you leave it to get children in a routine the harder it will be for you to break the bad habit.
- You are the parent you should be the one in charge not the child.If you feel they will not go to bed by you saying so then it shows there is a problem that will only get worse over time.
- Develop a strict bedtime routine. Do not falter from it or you are risking going back to square one.
- A lovely warm bath relaxing playing with bath toys sticky letters etc will prepare them for quiet time.
- If you offer a supper time treat such as toast and warm milk etc let them eat it quietly on the couch no more toys now,its winding down and quiet time.
- If you put active toys out videos etc it will get their mind working overtime this is the total opposite of what you are aiming to achieve with a new bedtime routine. Forget using PLAYSTATION/NINTENDO games etc they are a no no near bedtime! No videos,No dvds.
- Read a story in bed giving them a kiss goodnight a big hug lights off and say sleeptime love you. Don’t fall into the trick of your child saying “im hungry I need a drink mum” as they will have had a supper and therefore dont need more drinks.Or The next trick children use to stay up is or it will be “I need the toilet” up and back and forth trips to the toilet next.
- leave the door slightly ajar so you can hear footsteps trying to sneakdown stairs. If they get out of bed take them back straight away.Tuck them in say goodnight then leave.
- This will need to be repeated as many times as your child gets out of bed to come down stairs.The more times they get up means the more times you put them back after taking them back once do not talk to your child as they will have got a responce from you and play up on it more and more and more until you give in.
- Remember you are the adult you are in charge.Stay strong you can do it, its not going to hurt your child they need the stability that comes by you the adult being consistant. Do not be bullied/blackmailed coached into giving in. Be strong and the next night will be better.
- It may take a few days but once you have managed it they will give up and sleep. The next night if they try it again sneaking downstairs you take them back.Persistance will pay off, you may be tired, fed up but it will all be worth it in the end! You can do it and they will sleep better for with the new bedtime routine! And for the first time in along time so will you too!