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How to Get a Child to Go to Bed

Updated on February 28, 2013
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The average toddler requires approximately 14 hours of sleep within a 24 hour period in order to function at their best. More than likely, all of these hours will not occur at night. Toddlers who do not get enough sleep are often cranky with frequent meltdowns and mood swings. Lack of sleep can also lead to increased illnesses, decreased learning, and even developmental deficits. Finding a solution to your toddler's sleep issues is essential to ensuring proper growth and development. In addition, it will save you time, frustration, and energy. here are are few tips to ensure your toddler gets enough rest.

1. Train your child to sleep alone. Children who develop a habit of sleeping with you can have a very difficult time when it is time to sleep alone.

2. Don't cuddle, play, or stay too long. It can be tempting to remain in the room or play with your child but resist this urge. For many children too much activity during bedtime is just too much stimulation. For other children your presence is enough to keep them awake or your presence may become necessary in order for them to sleep.

3. Don't fall for the stall. Children are pros at wasting time. They will put off bedtime for as long as possible. As a parent it is sometimes necessary to be stern and enforce the rules. Assure your child that your are near, they are safe and send them to bed.

4. Establish a concrete bedtime. Children thrive on routine and scheduling. Giving your child a bedtime and making sure they go to bed at that time every night helps them to be more accepting.

5. Honor final request before they can even ask. Children will often ask for the same things right at bed time. They have to use the bathroom, there is one special song they want you to sing, or maybe they just want one last sip of water. Incorporate these kind of requests into their bedtime routine. Don't allow them to use them as a stall tactic or a way of frequently getting out of bed later.

6. Don't lose your cool. There is no need to get in an uproar when it comes to bedtime. Be firm with your child, establish clear rules, and stick to them. This will go a long way in preventing any arguments later.

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7. Develop a nighttime routine. Children need to know what to expect and developing a consistent nighttime routine is a great way to prepare them for bed. Make it enjoyable but be careful not to overstimulate your child. Getting them excited right before bed is a sure way to make sure they don't get to sleep any time soon. A good nighttime routine may involve a warm bath, brushing the teeth and then reading a book right before lights out.

8. If they get up put them back. It is often not even necessary to say a word. Some children are just going to try to see how far they can go and this is something we as parents just have to accept. It's okay. Just put you little one right back in the bed. If they get up again put them right back again. Soon they will get the picture.

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