As our toddlers develop they often become pro’s at bedtime stall tactics. My daughter is famous for proclaiming anything and everything to stall bed time, her latest attempt is “I have a hang nail”. The best advice is to talk to your toddler using what I call “positive sleep speak”. The best way to start is simple, three times a day, I recommend adding this to your meal time routine. When they are happy and eating talk up healthy sleep. Sounds crazy but boy does it work. For example:
- 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 nap that’s a success, bedtime and awake for the day, even if it wasn’t perfect. Tell them they made a good try and you love when they sleep good.
Our little ones want to please us and be praised by us, use the power of speech to drive this home!
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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