Getting your Toddler to Bed without a Fight

Most parents of toddlers know that this can be a difficult time under any circumstances.  Bedtime is no exception to that rule.  Bedtime can often amount to a battle of epic proportions even when you follow all the good advice you can get.  After all, toddlers usually have a newfound ability to get themselves out of bed, and have often just been weaned from the bottle or breast, and this can be difficult at best for parents to deal with.  However, getting your toddler to bed is still possible.  It just takes a healthy dose of patience, and on occasion, a good sense of humor.

The best place to start in getting your toddler to bed is to make sure that your child has a bed that he/she loves.  A little girl may love a special bed with princess bedding, while your little boy may prefer superheroes or cars.  Allow your child to participate in choosing the bedding, as this will insure that your child loves it and will be comfortable with it.  It is best if you can make the entire bedroom a place that your child will enjoy being, but this can sometimes be an expensive undertaking, so just the bed will work in a pinch.

From there, it is important to have a bedtime routine.  Having a routine that your child knows signals bedtime will help him/her to settle down during this time.  A bedtime routine should consist of things such as a bath, getting dressed for bed, brushing teeth, and perhaps a bedtime story and cuddle.  By doing these things before bed each night, it signifies to your child that it is indeed bedtime, and it’s time to settle down.  Once the bedtime routine is through, take your child in and tuck him/her into bed.

Of course, the first few times, your child is not likely to settle right in and this is where the patience and the sense of humor come in.  You may have to deal with your child climbing out of bed and finding excuse after excuse to stay up.  You may hear that a drink of water is needed, one last trip to the potty, or even requests for breakfast the next morning.  It is best if you can anticipate these requests, and provide anything that you know your child is going to ask for before they ask.  However, this may not always work, as children can be very creative in their requests.

As long as you are persistant and continue taking your child back to bed each time he/she gets up, eventually your child will go to bed.  In the meantime, just be patient, and it is okay to laugh when your child comes up with more excuses not to go to bed than you ever knew existed.  After all, what fun is life without a sense of humor.