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Mother and Baby

Fix My Toddler: Why Won’t She Go To Bed?

So, your toddler’s been an angel all day, but now bedtime is creeping closer and she’s starting to play up. What to do?

You’ve exhausted your toddler with activities, filled her tummy with wholesome food and pleaded with her that surely you’re due some grown up time, but this still doesn’t always prevent her resisting bedtime. While this kind of behaviour is pretty normal, you might need more than one trick up your sleeve to fix it. Try the following tot-taming strategies…

Get the timing right

‘Getting her to bed at the right time means being in tune with her emotions and mood,’ says Naomi. ‘If you suspect she’s over-tired, don’t rush your bedtime routine. Instead, move everything a little earlier, such as dinner, bath and bedtime stories.’

Hand her the reins

Stick to a routine, but offer your toddler as much control as possible. ‘Let her switch off the light or have a final sip of water,’ says Emma. ‘Give warnings about what comes next, like, “This is the last story, then we’ll turn out the light.” This should make it easier.’

'Your tot's more likely to play up if she hasn’t had one-on-one time with you'

Give her some you-time

You may be desperate to get your little one to bed, but she’s more likely to play up if she hasn’t had one-on-one time with you. ‘Encourage your toddler to choose a few favourite toys, then have a mini play session in the run-up to bedtime,’ says Emma.

Set up a sticker chart

Explain that she needs ten stickers and then she can choose a new toy or a treat. Set up the chart with her so she understands how it works. Use an A4 piece of cardboard, then divide it into 10 columns, so she can see where she has got to. If she’s goes to bed without a fuss, she gets a sticker.

For more features on toddler behaviour, subscribe to Mother & Baby magazine here

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