Toddlers perform a major struggle every night to evade sleep! Handling it could prove to be astoundingly frustrating if it’s a daily routine. As a mom, you must first understand the reason for your munchkin’s bedtime tantrums and then deal with it in a manner than keeps you in control of the situation but doesn’t terrorize your child either!
Leaving a crying toddler to soothe himself could send any parent on a guilt trip, but this could very well be the first step towards conditioning your toddler into accepting a bedtime routine. After a long day of work commitments, household chores and severely depleted energy levels, managing toddler tantrum at bedtime can prove to be an absolute nightmare.
Watch: Everything You Need To Know About Toddler Bedtime Tantrums
However, you can make your child’s bedtime a cakewalk with just the right parenting strategy. While dealing with toddler bedtime problems, you must understand the cause of these tantrums. Toddler crying at bedtime could very well be because of any of the following reasons –
- Fear: Your child may be scared of monsters or of the dark. Your presence may give him the sense of security and that may be why he doesn’t want to sleep on his own.
- Sign of Independence: This may be one of the ways in which your toddler is learning to exert his independence and control over his life choices.
- Feels Left Out: Your toddler may want to spend more time with you and feels that if he sleeps off, you will continue to enjoy without him.
- Wants to Spend Time Together: This may be the only time when you spend some quality time with your child, so obviously he wants to milk it the most and get as many hugs, bed time stories and sing-along with you as possible.
- Easily Distracted: Your toddler may be too distracted to wind down for bedtime.
Here are some tips to make your child sleep without bedtime tantrums –
1. Maintain A Bedtime Routine
Undoubtedly one of the best tips for beating toddler’s bedtime stalling tactics is setting a bedtime routine for toddlers. By setting up a bedtime routine you give your toddler ample time to prepare for bed. Start with a bath, changing into favorite pajamas, reading a story or listening to rhymes before bedtime. Make this a daily routine so your toddler can anticipate bedtime.
2. Give Your Toddler Controlled Choices
Give your toddler some choices which make him feel in control of the solution. However, don’t keep the choices open ended like “do you want to go to bed?” The answer would invariably be a “No”. Instead let your little one decide which bedtime story he wants to listen to or which color pajamas he wants to wear. This way he will exert his independence without evading bedtime.
3. Remove All Distractions
Reduce nearby activity level to minimum so that your child is not distracted and doesn’t feel like he’s missing out on anything fun. Ambience plays a critical role in inducing sleep in kids. Ensure lights are dimmed, Switch off your phone and television and make sure there are no ambient noises that can make your little one cranky or distracted.
4. Set A Limit On Indulgences
Be firm but not heartless. Give him that extra hug or read that extra story to him if he insists. But always set a limit for these indulgences so that ultimately you can put your child to sleep on time. It is very important for your child to learn that bedtime means that he/she must get to bed and cannot indulge in other activities.
5. Stay Close At All Times
Assure your toddler that you are nearby and check on him multiple times to reinforce this belief. That ways he can get over the fear of monsters or dark and even learn to self-soothe himself.
Ultimately, the toddler bedtime battle in each household could be unique and can only be resolved with some creative parenting. The key is not to lose patience but remain calm while dealing with your sleepy but not-ready-to-sleep toddler, every night.