Toddler Bedtime Tips — Have a little one that protests bedtime? Giving choices shifts the power struggle!
• “Which pajamas would you like to wear?”⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
• “Which lovey would you like tonight?”⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
• “What book do you want to read?”⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Bedtime battles don’t have to be the worst! Let me guess, you’ve had the same bedtime routine for months. You would think your toddler would get the drill by now:… so, how could this possibly be a surprise?! ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Here’s the bedtime struggle hack: GIVE A CHOICE!
When it comes to bedtime, and they want to keep playing, they’re gonna give you a HARD NO when you ask if they’re ready for bed. First pro tip? NEVER ask, “Are you ready for bed?” ALWAYS confidently, calmly state, “It’s bedtime.” ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Then, instead of fighting that urge for power, which leads to endless bedtime power struggles, go WITH it.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Give your toddler the FEELING of control by offering small choices for them to make. This makes them feel POWERFUL and part of the process, rather than just being told what to do. It literally switches their brain from fight mode.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Parent chooses the big stuff:⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
• What time she goes to bed⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
• Tasks before bed: teeth, jammies etc⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Toddler chooses the small stuff:⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
• Which PJs to wear⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
• Which lovey to snuggle⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
• Which book to read⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
This makes your little one feel part of the process. PS: this hack goes beyond bedtime. Offer small choices when you sense a “NO!” coming your way.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Last tip: If they feel overwhelmed with open ended choices, especially for the younger toddlers, offer a choice between two specific things: “Would you like to wear your dinosaur jammies or your truck jammies?”. ”Should we read your Princess book or Animal book?” ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Here’s to happy sleep, and a smooth bedtime!
I hope these are helpful tips! My goal is for you and your family to have the tools you need to help your child get the rest they need to be their best.
If you have any questions or want to dive deeper into sleep issues your little one is facing, please feel free to send me a DM on Instagram – instagram.com/thesleepinghouse or send me an email firstname.lastname@example.org