1. Make sure your child’s bedtime routine is happening at the right time.
Some parents tend to put their children to bed too early, which is why they may mess around. I know you just want peace and quiet after a long day but keeping them up an hour or so later could really make a difference.
Toddlers from the age of 2+ need 6 hours of being awake between their afternoon nap and when they go to bed. Therefore, you need to monitor your child’s sleeping patterns. If they wake at 3:30pm, there is no way they are going to go to sleep at 7pm. On the other hand, there are some toddlers who go to bed too late and therefore become overtired and grouchy. This can be a difficult situation to try and get to sleep in.
2. Take a good look at your toddler’s schedule.
Please have a look at what your child is doing on a daily basis, this way you can move activities around to make sure they nap at the correct time for the correct length, meaning they will go to bed easier.
Look into whether they wake too early or too late, this will determine the plan for their day. If they wake too early, they need to go to bed a little later, and if they wake too late, they need to go to bed a little earlier.
3. Create a visual chart that outlines the steps of the bedtime routine.
Create a chart to put on their bedroom door or the fridge (somewhere hey can see it easily) to show them the routine for bedtime. You can use pictures such as a toothbrush for when they need to brush their teeth, a book for when they get read a story and so on. Creating the chart will make the child feel like it is theirs, making them feel special. It means you can tell your toddler what activity they should be doing when they are doing something else.
4. Offer choices whenever possible.
Offer your toddler choices; this way, they feel in control of some aspects of the bedtime routine and is an excellent way to get them to co-operate. For example, let them decide what pyjamas they want to wear or what book they want to read.
5. Give your toddler an incentive to go to bed without a fuss.
Consider having a reward chart; this way, your child has an incentive to go to bed. If they go to bed without messing around and go straight to sleep, they get a sticker. When they collect ten stickers, they can have a treat.