Nothing ruins an otherwise pleasant evening like a bedtime meltdown. When children refuse to go to sleep or won’t stay in bed, bedtime can turn into a battle of wills that agitates children and frustrates adults. The result can be harsh words, tears and angry threats, making it harder for everyone to get a good night’s sleep.
It may take some trial and error to find a bedtime routine that works for you and your child (see our previous posts for bedtime tips), but making sure you and your child get the refreshing sleep you need is worth the effort. If bedtime continues to be a struggle, try some of these tips:
- Make sure your child gets plenty of exercise and fresh air before bedtime so he will be tired enough to go to sleep. Try taking a family walk after dinner. At least 30 minutes before bedtime, shift to quiet, more relaxing activities to help your child wind down.
- Ban evening TV which can overstimulate young children.
- Include a small snack in your child’s bedtime routine. If your child is not a big eater, he may be hungry again by bedtime.
- Watch the Nighty Night video with your child just before tucking him in.
- Remove the nightlight and install room-darkening shades. Ambient light can disturb sleep.
- Use white noise to block distracting sounds. Run a fan or vaporizer or play the soothing Nighty Night CD to lull your child to sleep.