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Showing a Tough Toddler Who's Boss at Bedtime

Jul 29, 2008
It can be, at times, quite frustrating to put your toddler down for bedtime. In order to make the transition into sleep as smooth as possible, you may want to try out some of the following techniques.

The most important consideration should be consistency in bed times and waking times. If your toddler gets used to a specific schedule, then it will be easier for him to get to bed at night. The sooner you establish a routine, the easier it will be over the long term to get him to sleep without a fuss.

The lead-up to bedtime should be the same each night, and make sure any activities are quiet and restful. Give your little one a snack, tell a bedtime story, pop in a brief video or play a quiet game. Keep to the same routine every night.

Don't lie down in bed with your toddler, waiting for him to fall asleep. This may end up causing the reverse reaction, stimulating your toddler to remain wakeful and demand more games and stories.

A better approach would be to tell your toddler that you need to get something done and you will be right back to check on him. It is very likely that your child will fall asleep before you return.

You may want to discuss the events of your toddler's day. The mood should remain calm and soothing, and your child should not become too excited in the process. Some parents turn this into story time, featuring their toddler in the starring role.

After your toddler gets older, if a regular bedtime has been established and stuck to, then the job will become so much simpler. Bedtime could even become a daily event that is looked forward to by your child as a special family time. Remember that children thrive on consistency and repetition.

However, if your child continually resists sleep, it may be a good idea to consult your pediatrician to rule out any medical causes for the behavior.
About the Author
Ashley King is the mother of an active toddler, and is a contributor to Toddlers Now where you'll find lots of great information to help you raise your little one.
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