My kids always put up a big fight when it comes to bedtime. Any suggestions on what to do? I try giving a bath late at night but it seems to make them even more hyper than before the bath. My little boy is 2 1/2 and my girl is 3 1/2. Please help!

asked 01 Oct '09, 01:49

Mommy%20trial%20and%20error's gravatar image

Mommy trial and error
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Structure and routines are the basics in raising children (at least for us, until now). Doing the same things everyday gives children a sense of comfort.

We try to "cool down" the last 30 minutes before supper. No running games or fighting, more like reading a book or singing.

After supper the procedure is always the same:

  • say goodnight to (whoever and whatever is in the room, could be relatives, or the kitchen it self)
  • wash and brush teeth
  • get into pj, and the sleeping sack
  • sit down and read a bedtime story
  • lights down, while I carry him around
  • while singing a song he gets put into bed
  • I will sit beside his bed for a few minutes, and then leave the room

Works like a charm :-)

Greetings from Germany

Huibert Gill

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answered 01 Oct '09, 14:22

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Huibert Gill
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You need to set a clear routine so that they know it is time to settle down and then stick to it every night. For example, at 7:00 they go put their pjs on and brush their teeth. Then they pick out one book for you to read (allow each to pick a book to avoid a fight). Have them get into bed for you to read to them or sit on the couch and read together then put them to bed. Send your daughter to her room while you tuck your son in. Take a few minutes with each child to sing a song (like Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star) and talk about something good that day.

Whatever routine you choose, the important thing is to be consistent so they know what to expect every night. And if they get up after you've put them down, immediately send them back to bed. If necessary, you could set up a chair outside their bedroom doors (it worked on a couple of boys I used to babysit).

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answered 01 Oct '09, 02:22

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mkcoehoorn
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How about trying to dissolve your current bed time routine. There is no reason you need to make bedtime a big drawn out deal. Over time, decrease the fuss you make about going to bed until it becomes a very basic set of steps. Have a clock in plain view. Give them a 30 minute warning, a 15 minute warning, a 5 minute warning and then you can all check the clock together. They don't need to be able to tell time, just see that the numbers are the same/hands are in the same position each night. At the selected time its jammies, teeth brushing, into bed, kiss goodnight and lights out - that is all. The less of a big deal you make it, the less of a big deal it will be to them and while it might be a bit odd at first, in a few days they will learn that this is their new normal. You may need to play warden a bit at first and sit outside their doors to make sure they are making an effort to go to sleep but it wont last long. The trick is NOT to negotiate. You are the parent and these are the rules and its as simple as that.

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answered 01 Oct '09, 02:29

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dreamerisme
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I am all about a routine and definitely agree with the above answers. A child needs to know what to expect at bedtime and to be honest, kids actually like to have structure. Work really hard at creating a routine that works for both you and your children and then sit down and go over it with them. Good luck!

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answered 01 Oct '09, 05:53

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Melissa 1
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Asked: 01 Oct '09, 01:49

Seen: 2,283 times

Last updated: 01 Oct '09, 14:22