Resisting Bedtime

Some toddlers regularly and energetically resist the idea of going to bed at night, which can be frustrating when you are tired at the end of a long day. It could be your child’s way of asserting independence. It could also be his fear of the dark and being left alone in his room.

Try these strategies for getting your little one to dreamland, and stick with them every night, for as long as it takes:

  • Create a consistent bedtime routine—for instance, bath and teeth-brushing, snuggle and story time, then bed, perhaps with some soft lullaby CD playing nearby.
  • Counteract your child’s need for independence and control by offering choices. Let him pick between 2 books, 2 different types of pajamas, etc.
  • If your toddler gets up out of bed, calmly walk her back—saying as little as possible—tuck her in and leave the room. Do this every single time she gets up—until she realizes this is all pretty boring and you aren’t going to let her stay up.

Disclaimer: This page is not intended to provide medical advice about your child. Always seek the advice of a physician, qualified healthcare provider or child-development specialist with any questions you have about your child's health, medical condition or development. Never disregard, avoid or delay contacting a doctor or other qualified professional because of something you read here.

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