Another drink of water? The wrong pyjamas? Forgot to say goodnight to the cat?
So, by this point, they’re getting pretty clever about the whole bed-time routine. But, you’ve been around longer and you’re even cleverer. As always, it’s about finding the routine that works for you. Bring on bed-time.
At a glance
- Dealing with stalling tactics at bed-time
- Hints, tips and tricks
- Introducing the 'big bed'
Two to four year olds will usually sleep 11-12 hours per night, with many having a 1-3 hour nap during the day. Finding a bed-time that works for everyone and sticking to it is great for keeping a regular sleep pattern. Although it makes no sense whatsoever, someone decided to programme children to find it harder to fall asleep when they are overtired. Try to stick to their bed-time routine whenever possible – of course, there will be exceptions because this is real life – and put them to bed at their usual bed-time.
Amaze them with your mind-reading skills
As they try new stalling techniques, incorporate them – within reason - into their bedroom routine. Need another glass of water? Already got one. Want to wear those pyjamas? We talked about it earlier – you’re already wearing them. Saying goodnight to the cat? Tick. Allow them one more request – another page, for example - but make it clear that’s the last one before sleep.
Things that go Bump in the night - I
It’s completely normal at this age for little ones to have fears associated with bed-time. You may even be able to remember being afraid of the dark or imagining monsters in the wardrobe when you were their age. An increasingly active imagination is a lovely thing so view it as positive and normal. Encourage them to talk about their fears so that you can find out what will reassure them – a nightlight, leaving the landing light on or perhaps checking under the bed to prove there’s nothing there. Nightmares are also perfectly normal at this age. Whilst scary at the time, they will soon be forgotten after plenty of cuddles and reassurance from you.
Things that go bump in the night – II: The Sequel
This is the age at which many children make the transition to their first proper bed. In fact, many let unsuspecting parents know when the time is right by simply jumping out of the cot…
The BIG BED!
As with all phases, the transition from cot to big bed may take a little encouragement. Praise your tot when they do stay in that big bed. If they get up, simply take them back to bed and remind them gently but firmly that it’s bed-time. Getting little ones excited about a new Big Bed may make the transition easier. You could let yours choose a duvet set and pillow to make them feel more like the bed is really theirs. If you want to know more about getting your child to stay in their bed, you can read our Back to Bed guide.
Our brilliant Bounty Community mums know every trick in the book when it comes to bed-times and are always here to share, listen and advise…