Bed time, we've all been there.
Me: Okay time for blessings and hugs
Baby Fox: Wait I have to pee, I have to pee, I have to pee
Me: (night potty training, so gotta take is seriously), Okay let's go
Baby Fox: (as 1 teaspoon of liquid comes out) See I told you I had to pee
Me: Okay, wash hands off to bed (walk back into bedroom)
Baby Fox: I need a drink, I'm thirsty
Me: One small sip
Baby Fox: Ahhhh, that was good
Me: okay one last hug
Baby Fox: Noooo, wait I need some snuggles, snuggle me Mommy
Me: (gives him a look)
Baby Fox: You're a big sucker, snuggle me
Me: Okay, but just for 1 minute.
Baby Fox: Yay!
Me: Okay I have to go, get much lunch ready for tomorrow, put Mini Fox to bed, she's hungry, do you hear her whinning out there?
Baby Fox: No, rock a bye song!
Me: Okay...(rock a bye baby...), one last hug, your sister is crying, I have to go
Baby Fox: Okay, send Daddy in...
Does this sound familiar? Here's how we deal with Bed Time Battles
Start from an early age. Start everything you want to do with them at an early age. We started a bedtime routine from the get go. Granted it changes as they get older and are able to go longer stretches without food, but start from the get go. We do bath, brushing teeth a little bit of play/reading books, blessings and good night kisses. Now that Baby Fox is older, he always asks for blessings and knows that when we start the blessing part of the evening that it's time to go to bed. (We do the blessings with lights out)
I know this is supposed to be a toddler bedtime battle, but I think it really helped that we taught both of our kids to fall asleep on their own. We never rocked them to sleep, nursed them to sleep or any of those other methods. We knew from the get go we didn't want to co-sleep (in bed with us), so we wanted to make sure we put them to bed awake but sleepy. We loosely followed Baby Wise. I high suggest it. But that's for another post for another day.
Decide on a time limit and stick to it. Usually I give him a minute or two to indulge in the delay tactics and then tell him firmly but lovingly that it's time to go to bed and that Mommy has to get ready for the next day. Sometimes he cries, most times he doesn't, but don't give into the crying. He usually stops crying before I make it all the way down stairs. I know he's tired, he doesn't think he's tired, but I know he'll fall asleep quickly.
Remember you're the parent, don't let them tell you how bedtime is going to go. It might take a few nights of firmness but once they realize they're not getting what they want, they usually just take what they can get.
Sometimes when I close the door, I hear him say "aw man!" But then he settles down and goes to sleep.
Be consistent, I know it's hard. But if you let him do something one night but not the next, that's confusing. Probably causing more tears and longer bedtime rituals. Like if you put them to bed, walk out of the door and then they call you to come back, and you go back, they'll think that they can do this every night. We fell for this trap. That lasted about 2 weeks and then we thought, hey, once we leave, we leave, we can't go back, unless it's an emergency. I told him that once I leave I wasn't going to come back until morning. He listened and did the same thing, the first night I just went to his door and told him was time to go bed, didn't open it, but did it outside of his bedroom. It worked and he settled down.
I hope these help you! I know our bedtime is less stressful for all of us when we stick to a routine and know what to expect when.
What helps you guys with your bedtime battles?
Just cause I love when kids sleep like this:
Baby Fox way back when...
You think my kids like the same sleep position? We call it Butts-up 7-up.