How to Get Through Bedtime Behaviors
Bedtime behaviors are difficult to deal with for many reasons that we can all relate too such as:
- Parents are exhausted by this time of the night which makes bedtime feel like more work since it can be at times physically, mentally, and emotionally draining.
- Parents miss their children and want to spend time with them (snuggling, reading, books, singing songs etc. because it feels wonderful to be in that moment).
The last thing that you want at this time of the night is to have to handle your little one screaming, crying, and throwing a tantrum because they don’t want to go to bed. We can all agree that bedtime can get ugly and it is definitely much easier to give them what they want so you can hear your own thoughts and keep your insanity. However, I am going to prepare you the best I can so that you can go into this strong and ready!
First: Follow a consistent bedtime routine that includes bath time, brushing teeth, letting your child pick out their pajamas to wear (limit to 2 options), their books to be read (2 or 3 are good), and then set the bedtime mood by putting the night light on, bedtime music and you should probably get the cup of water ready too because children develop this strong thirst when they are trying to manipulate you out of bedtime which I am sure you have noticed. Now that we have that covered routine, some bedtime buy-in, and the bedtime mood you are one step ahead of the game and have now done the ground work.
**My suggestion is to keep your routine times consistent and the order of the routine consistent as well.
Once you have gone through the routine, you kiss and your child and say “goodnight” you must now be strong, stern, and consistent because this is where your child may challenge you and you need your game face on at all times. You may have the child that wants another hug, kiss, more water, there is now something scary under the bed and every excuse under the sun will be used to get out of bedtime at this point. You may also have that child that goes straight for the screaming that either tugs at your heart strings or makes you want to bang your head against the wall to make it stop. You will handle these situations the same no matter what happens by ignoring the behavior. I know this seems harsh but the more you reason and give the behavior attention the more you are letting your child know that they will get what they want by doing that behavior which gives them the power.
I’m not going to sugar coat this situation because it is very difficult but what I will tell you is you got this! Keep the tone of your voice serious, calm, and stern, tell your child “it is bedtime” kiss them on the head and say “goodnight”. If they get out of bed even if it is 20 times you will need to stay strong and consistent and keep repeating this no matter how much you want to give in. If you read another book, sing another song, let them watch a YouTube, or have them sleep with you, you are sending the message that they will get what they want when they exhibit that behavior. Some nights will be better than others but you are going into this prepared and will be successful!!
Bright & Early Blogger