How to Deal With Your Toddlers Bed Time Battles

How to Deal With Your Toddlers Bed Time Battles

Newborn and baby sleep cycles are spoken about all of the time. Heck, it's usually the first question we're asked as new parents, 'Is she a good sleeper?' Or 'Are you managing to get any sleep?' It's discussed so openly and freely, but what if you're still having the same struggles as your baby becomes a toddler? If your toddler is fighting sleep and you're dreading the bedtime battles each night, firstly you're not alone! And secondly, this post could be the one for you.

Everyone always assumes the older your child gets, the easier their bedtime routine will become and ultimately they (and you) will be gaining more sleep. Whilst this is true for some, it's not always the case. And if it isn't the case for you, you're most definitely not alone. We often try and pinpoint exactly what it is we're doing wrong as parents, especially when we're up multiple times during the night. But truth be told, our toddlers are just toddlers. Sometimes there's not much more of an explanation to it.

So let's take a look at the things we can influence as parents. Here are a few tips and tricks to battling the bedtime woes with your toddler.

Communication

Communication is key in a lot of tricky situations and this one is no different. Sometimes I feel we hold back communicating things with our children through fear that they may not understand. Well if there's one thing I've learnt in my parenting journey: it's to never underestimate my children. By communicating exactly how bedtime is going to run (because it's your rules, not theirs) your child is fully prepared for how bedtime is going to go. You could perhaps discuss it with them beforehand, asking if they'd like one book or two? We read one 'big book' and one 'little book', once we've read the second book my daughter now understands the routine of going to the toilet and then getting into bed.

Reassess Nap Time

We've been rather lucky (or unlucky, depending on which way you look at it) in the sense that my first daughter naturally dropped all naps relatively early. In the run-up to this, however, bedtime was really difficult. It's like we knew she needed to drop the nap, but she hadn't figured it out yet. The transition period was very tricky! If your toddler is struggling it may be useful to drop the nap, or shorten it and see how they get on at bedtime.

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Create a Safe Sleeping Space

Your toddlers' bedroom should feel like a safe space for them. Ensuring the room is properly dark at night will encourage them to fall into a deep sleep. Black-out blinds are a must! We struggled last summer without them while we were renovating and my goodness as soon as we installed them it was like we had a new child! Maintaining a decent temperature is essential too. It's important for your child to see their bedroom as a safe space. Avoid sending your little ones to their bedroom as punishment as this will make them associate bedtime with negative emotions.

Routine

I'll be honest, as parents we're not massive on routine, however, one thing we've become sticklers for is sticking with a bedtime routine which works for us. Your routine doesn't have to be particularly long, or complicated. It could be as simple as switching the TV off 30 minutes before doing the whole teeth, toilet & bedtime routine. Children feel safe with routines. Having the predictability of a routine before bed will hopefully banish any bedtime battles.

Let Your Toddler Feel Like They're Making the Rules

One of the best things I've learnt during my parenting journey on how to deal with toddler tantrums or toddler woes is to make them feel like they're winning (even though they most definitely aren't). When it comes to bedtime, this could be as simple as letting your child choose their book or their pyjamas. Giving your child a level of responsibility means they won't want to rebel as much, hopefully making bedtime that bit easier for you.

Roleplay Bedtime

Practising bedtime with your toddlers' cuddly toys can really help with bedtime battles. It's a really great way for them to understand the bedtime routine. They'll be learning exactly what's expected of them in a way which is fun and easily understandable to them.

Some of these things sound basic, some perhaps easier said than done, but I think you'll be surprised at the difference they can make. Good luck and may the odds be ever in your favour!

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