Bedtime Without Battles

Do your kids fight going to bed? Are you looking for ideas on how to get your kids in bed and keep them in bed? Below is a list of our best bedtime tips.

1. Consistency - Do your children have a set bedtime? Do they go to bed at the same time on the weekends as the weekdays? Do they get up at the same time each morning? Consistency is the kety to getting your children to bed on time without a fight. Set a time for bed and stick with it, even on the weekends. Try and pick a reasonable time to get up in the morning as well.

2. Bedtime routine - Establish a bedtime routine. Children are less resistant to going to bed when they are prepared fo rit. For example, every night have them take a bath and brush their teeth. Have them get in their pajamas and read a bedtime story. With an established routine, they will know it is bedtime once story time is over.

3. Are they sleeping too much during the day? - Take a look at nap time. How long are they sleeping? What time are they getting up in the morning? Have you set a reasonable bedtime? Watch your child for sleepiness cues and use this to establish your bedtime.

4. Nip the "I'm thirsties" in the bud. One of children's favorite excuses to get out of bed is saying "I'm thirsty" or "I have to go to the bathroom". Include a trip to the bathroom and a small glass of water in your bedtime routine.

5. Noise - Is the TV set blaring when your children go to bed? Now is the time to dim all the lights and turn the TV way down or off. Kids, like adults, have difficulty sleeping with noise in the background.

6. If your children insist on getting out of bed, return them right back to bed. If you allow them to get up, even for a few minutes, it reinforces this behavior. If they see they can get out of bed they will continue with the stall tactics. Putting them back in bed promptly will help eliminate this behavior.

7. "Mom, I'm not tired...." - Who hasn't heard this one? You can get your kids to stay in bed, but you won't always be able to get them to sleep. Let your child know that they need to rest even if they don't feel sleepy. Instruct them to rest quietly in their bed until they are sleepy.

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