Top Tricks to Terminate Toddler Bedtime Tantrums
Updated: Mar 30, 2022
...it's like they know you have a weak spot and they’ll take their time and poke at it till they win (again).
Toddlers and Bedtime Meltdowns
Toddlers hey have their own quirky little habit when they get overtired. The sudden influx of those daytime hormones (adrenaline to keep them alert and awake) can actually make them quite manic. They might seem to be super happy and giggly for a while, leading you to think this child isn't ready for bed. But before long you'll see their mood take a big shift into crankiness, and then you’ve probably got a meltdown on your hands.
What's the secret to eliminating these unpredictable flow of emotions? EARLIER BEDTIME
Everyone has natural rhythm when it comes to sleep. They’re dependant on a variety of factors, but timing is the most prevalent. An earlier bedtime gets your toddler to sleep before they get past the window of opportunity when they're most ready to sleep.
You know you've found the perfect time for your toddler's bedtime when they drift to sleep within 5-20 minutes of lying down. That increment of time is completely normal and the best indicator that your child was ready for bedtime.
Shortcuts to Bedtime Whining and Stalling
Bedtime routine is one of the most precious times to spend 1-1 with your child, yet one of the most frequent complaints from parents is the frustrations of getting through the bedtime routine. There's often tears for wanting a longer bath time, more stories, another song, it easily becomes battle of stamina.
So how do we get things moving along?
Shortcut #1: TIMER!
Any timer will do, a portable kitchen timer or even just your phone. It's a great way to keep a toddler visually aware of when time is up or about to run out. Set 10-15min for bath time and give two to three warnings that it's times up when the bell rings. The first few times you'll still get some push back, but if you consistently abide by the timer, your child will learn there's no wiggle room with the timer.
A timer is a great way to hold the parent accountable while taking some of the blame from the parent as well. It won't work magically the first time, but that's ok. In order for this to work, you're going to have to mean what you (and the timer) say.
Shortcut #2: Keep your bedtime routine SHORT
Establish a good 20-30minute consistent bedtime routine. Anything longer, your child may lose track of the next steps. Any shorter, it may not serve as a sufficient cue to prime your child for night sleep.
Shortcut #3: Never DEVIATE from bedtime routine
Don't get me wrong, your toddler is still going to ask for 1 more song or 1 more story even if you’ve always stuck to the routine. But deviate from your bedtime routine once, and it's like they know you have a weak spot and they’ll take their time and poke at it till they win (again). So set the expectation straight, don't deviate from your (short) bedtime routine.
It’s not magic…it just takes consistency in sticking to these top tips. Need help from a toddler sleep expert? I'll objectively assess your sleep situation in a judgment-free way and develop customized strategies to help your big kid to sleep through the night. I've packed in my roadmap to success for free (here). Grab that and reserve your FREE 15-minute sleep assessment call with me today.