Happy Monday everyone, it’s Jen from PinkWhen back to share with you Tips for Getting Kids to Bed without Fits. Having four kiddos can be a little trying at bedtime. I never really have an issue with the older three, but it’s the youngest one who has had an issue with going to bed. I am going to share with you some tips that I learned that helped me save my sanity in this last year. If you have a toddler who refuses to go to bed and is constantly trying to get into your bed, then these bedtime tips are for you.
Tips for Getting Kids to Bed without Fits:
My now four year old is such a precocious little girl. She is full of energy and never wants to sleep. In fact, I literally have to force her to stop moving and sit still. If I can get her to sit still for a few minutes, she will usually go right to sleep. That’s during the day at nap time. At night is a different story. She never wants to go to bed, and no matter how many times we put her to bed she would always get up. It would even turn into MASSIVE fits. I could not figure anything out and my husband and I would always relent and allow her to sleep with us. (Which is the wrong thing to do, by the way!) It took a little while, but we finally figured things out. We now have a happy little girl who will sleep in her room at night, and I am going to share with you all of the things I did to help our family enjoy bedtime a little more.
Tips for Bedtime:
One of the biggest things I had to do was create an organized schedule. That doesn’t always work when you have kids that have different sports and you are going here and there. However, if you and your significant other can work together, a schedule is one of the best things to start with. For instance, we come home from school at 3:30, have a snack, have playtime, and then start settling down around 5. We eat dinner between 5pm and 6pm, have bath time from 6:30-7pm, and then will settle in front of the television or snuggle in her bed and read for about 30 minutes before prayers and bedtime.
Tips for leaving the Bedroom:
This was the sticking point that we had trouble with. Every time I left her room, she would throw a fit and come back out. No matter how often we would put her back and shut her door, she would come back out and we would eventually relent after an hour or more and let her come to bed with us. We tried night lights, we tried sound machines, and nothing would do the trick. (However, those are all great tips to try during your bedtime journey.)
If none of those options work for you, then try what finally worked for us. We kept our normal organized routine, but made just a few changes that have really saved us. Now when I leave her room, I leave her door open and I stay in the living room where she can see the lights and hear me. The first night I tried this she came out numerous times. Every time she came out I would gently place her back into her bed and tell her I would see her in the morning. I was determined to win this battle of the bedtime woes. After about 30 different exits from her room and me placing her back into the bed, she finally went to sleep. It worked! (It may not have taken so long if we had not given in so many times before.)
The next night we did the same routines and she came out of her room again, but this time she only came out a few times before she fell asleep.
By the third night she was still coming out a few times, but she would fall asleep much faster than before, and all without fit throwing like before. What was the difference?
- night light
- door open
- light in living room open and mom or dad staying in the living room until she was asleep
You may not have to go through all of these ideas, and hopefully something simpler like the first suggestions will work. However, if all else fails, put on your heart armor and stick to the plan. It may drive you crazy for the first few days and you may be tempted to cave, but there is a light at the end of the tunnel and you will be successful. Just don’t give in!
I hope these little tips and suggestions work as well for you as they did for our family. If you want to see more ideas to help with your toddler, you might enjoy my post on Toddler Room Organization. I will see you here again next month!