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Taming a Tough Toddler at Bedtime

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Putting your toddler to bed can sometimes be an exercise in frustration. If you have experienced this, you might want to consider one of the following techniques to make bedtime a peaceful time.

Be consistent about bed times and waking times. Your toddler is more likely to respond positively if he’s used to a specified schedule. The earlier your child’s routine is established, the easier it is to put them to bed without incident.

Make the activities the same every night, and make the time before bed quiet and peaceful. Whether a parent tells the child a story, provides a bedtime snack, puts in a short video, or plays quiet games before putting the child in bed, consistency is the key.

Try not to lie in bed with your toddler until he falls asleep. This might actually have the opposite effect, and might encourage your child to stay awake, and ask for drinks of water and more bedtime stories. An alternative might be telling your toddler you’re going to complete a chore and that you’ll come back in and check on them in a few moments.

It’s most likely that the child will fall asleep while waiting for mom or dad to return. You might also want to talk about your child’s day with them. Keep your tone soft and quiet, and try not to excite your child in the process. Turning this into a nighttime story with your child as the main character is a fun option as well.

As the child grows older, if a consistent bedtime is maintained the task will become easier. The most important issue is consistency and repetition. If the child can expect the same thing every night, and these customary tasks are pleasant, bedtime can become a delightful family ritual.

If however, your child is continually resisting sleep, talk with your child’s pediatrician, as their might be a medical problem at the root of it.

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Baby Tips

Your Personal Parenting Style and Your Child’s Sleep

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Good mothers and fathers come in many styles. Each one of us has different strengths, interests, and values that make us great parent.

Don’t let yourself become discouraged or disappointed when others ‘give you advice’ that doesn’t seem to mesh with who you are. Maybe you’re not a roll around on the floor kind of parent with your child.

Maybe you’ve decided to hang back and let your little one explore. That’s great! As long as it works for you and your child, nobody should be able to convince you that your method is incorrect or wrong.
Once you recognize and embrace your own personal parenting style, you can stop trying to live up to everyone else’s expectations and get on with the business of enjoying being a parent.

It’s important to keep in mind too, that these well-meaning advice givers don’t know your child as well as you. They aren’t there with your child night and day, watching him grow, learn, explore, play, eat, and sleep.

Only you know what’s best for your child, and you know what works best in your household and for your lifestyle. As with anything, figuring things out along the way will involve trial and error.

So when you receive yet another unsolicited piece of advice regarding your child’s napping or nighttime sleeping habits, keep both your and your child’s personal style in mind.

You’ve done the legwork, you’ve experimented, and you’ve learned together what works and what doesn’t work.

The cues should come from your instincts regarding your child and from your child directly. There’s no such thing as a hard-and-fast rule for sleep habits among children other than it is needed!

As your child grows, his cues may change, but as long as you stay in tune with him, his sleep habits shouldn’t have to suffer as a result. And neither should yours.

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Baby Tips

Relaxation Techniques for Toddler’s Bedtime

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Though it may seem like your toddler does nothing but play all day, he’s working very hard and by no means is his life stress-free. As he’s learning to walk, talk, and climb, he’s pushing himself to the limits of his physical strength and mental learning.

He’s also falling down, bumping, surprising, and hurting himself over and over again each day. And since your toddler doesn’t yet know how to roll with the punches or ease up on himself, he’s constantly frustrated and angered by failure. All this activity is bound to make for an exhausted toddler.

If you find his favorite activities or routine tasks are frustrating him, he’s most likely overtired and in need of restorative and restful sleep. Physical exhaustion, excitement, and tension build up until he no longer knows he’s tired.

Then it is up to you as a parent to help him figure out how to stop and rest. You can help make the transition from busy, active, energetic day to tranquil, quiet and peaceful night by easing him into sleep with quiet activities in the evening after dinner.

Coloring a picture, sitting down and watching a favorite, but quiet, video, reading books, singing, quiet play at bath time, or singing lullabies together helps your toddler disconnect and start winding down.

If this is done within the framework of a consistent bedtime routine, your toddler will come to associate these activities with bedtime and find them comforting and he’ll be able to easily recognize when bedtime occurs.

It’s also important to relax with your toddler. If he sees you busy in the kitchen cleaning, outside gardening, or doing other busy activities in the evenings, he’ll be likely to want to do the same, making the bedtime routine frustrating for everyone involved.

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