Talking Up Sleep to Your Toddler – Avoiding Bedtime Stalling

Bedtime stalling can become a big problem as our children grow. As our toddlers develop, they become more and more interested in the world around them. As their ability to interact with their world grows, so too does their desire to do just that. Because of this, they often become pros at bedtime stalling tactics. After all, they can’t do all the fun things they love if they’re sleeping. One of the best ways to avoid your toddler’s attempts to put off bedtime is to communicate with them using a mix of tactics.

Tips to Counter Bedtime Stalling

My daughter is famous for proclaiming anything and everything to stall bedtime. Her latest attempt is “I have a hangnail”. The best advice is to talk to your toddler using what I call “positive sleep speak”. The best way to start is simple, slipping the conversation in naturally three times a day. I recommend adding this to your mealtime routine. When they are happy and eating, talk up healthy sleep. Sounds crazy but boy does it work. The points below are excellent ways to make sleeping more appealing to your toddler.

  • Healthy sleep is food for your brain, we need to sleep through the night to get healthy sleep so we can (insert their favorite activity)
  • Mommy was so happy last night when you did a great big sleep all night on your own, I’m so proud of you
  • Mommy and Daddy (insert siblings) also need healthy sleep at night, it’s very important for everyone
  • When you’re sleeping your body is growing big and strong

Praise the heck out of them at every successful naptime and bedtime and during awake time for the day, even if it wasn’t perfect. Tell them they made a good try and you love when they sleep well. Our little ones want to please us and be praised by us, use the power of speech to drive this home! Over time, they’ll feel a sense of mastery over the subject of sleep, which is an important feeling for the mental development on its own.

Try it for two weeks, 3 times a day and watch how they get involved and repeat what you say to their stuffed animals in role play.

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