Getting kids to go to bed can be a nightmare. Especially if they haven’t had much of a routine through out their lives. Even if they have, once they turn two, it’s like all of the good things you have taught them up until now get thrown out the window. They start to develop their own ideas about things and it’s difficult to try and get them to side with you. Bedtime can be one of these battles. It’s not one of those things you can give up on either but they have to go to bed. Here are some ways to get toddlers into their beds to stay.
Match Your Little One
Toddlers love to match. Whether it’s with their friends or their parents, wearing the same thing as someone else is exciting to them, for now. So, you may just need to get out your adult onesie pajamas that match their little footed pajamas and make getting dressed fun. If you make it feel like they are playing dress up with you then they might forget that pajamas are just one step closer to bed. Matching your adult onesie pajamas to theirs is more than just putting it on. You have to make sure that you make a big deal out of it and point it out to your toddler. Talk about the images on the pajamas and the footed part and the snaps or zippers. Make it fun and interesting and they are sure to play along.
Have a Routine
Having a good schedule can really help kids. They thrive on routine and schedule and don’t do very well when left to themselves. If you have a set routine every night leading up to bed time, this gets them used to the idea that bed time is approaching but they don’t have to go yet. Something simple like bathroom, your adult onesie pajamas and theirs, a drink and a story, cuddle time and then sleep time is plenty. The idea is that you have certain things that you do every night that lets them know that bedtime is swiftly approaching. They may start to refuse doing the things that lead up to bed time but eventually they will get into the flow of the routine.
Stick to Your Guns
It’s nice to be able to let your kids stay up every now and again and throw the routine out the window. But, it’s not always a good idea. Especially for little kids. This can just confuse them and make bedtime the next night difficult. They won’t understand why they can stay up some nights and not others. Your best bet is to stick to the routine, don’t let them convince you otherwise and you’ll win in the end.
Talk to Them in Bed
Sometimes it can be quite helpful to stay in the room for a just few minutes after they get in to bed. They may be less likely to fight you about getting into bed if they know you aren’t going to leave immediately after. This could involve just sitting next to them and going over what you are going to be doing the following day. It could also be as simple as cuddling up to read them a book or tell them a story while they’re laying in bed. Whatever you choose is fine, the idea is just that they know that bed does not equal being alone and going to sleep immediately.
Try the Light Up Toy
If you feel like you have tried everything from the adult onesie pajamas trick to spending too much time in their bed before sleeping and nothing seems to be working, there is one last trick you might try. There is a toy that can be put on a timer so that it lights up at a certain time. Set it for whatever time they wake up in the morning so that when they wake up, they’ll see it lit and know it’s time to get up. At night time, you can let them know that they need to watch the toy and once it lights up, they can get up. They will likely fall asleep as they are waiting for the toy to light up.