Does your toddler resist bedtime?
Does it feel like it's a constant negotiation?
Need a snack!
One more book!
One more hug!
I need bunny, bear and penguin!
Lay with me!
On and on and on...?
When I work with toddler parents, we come at the bedtime struggles with many strategies- similar to when you're putting together a puzzle, you need many pieces- It's the same idea.
Today I want to help you with ONE piece of the puzzle, to help you get started when you don't know where to start!
Before you start establishing strong boundaries- and shifting the way you parent, especially at bedtime, I want you to do this ONE thing, ready for it?
1:1, undivided, connection time with your child.
"But, Melody, I already do this."
I'm 100% sure that you do!
The difference here is the intention behind it, and we all know that awareness is key when it comes to making any changes in our life.
So back to the 1:1 connection time.
Here are the guidelines:
-It needs to be 1:1, not with another child tagging along, not with both parents, 1:1.
-No phones, tablets or screens.
-Ideally to be done during the day ( if at home with your child) or after dinner, BEFORE the bedtime routine starts.
Ideas of what you can do:
Chasing your child around the house
Playing with blocks
Playing with playdough
If the activity can be somewhat 'physical', the better.
It gets endorphins flowing, laughter gets going, and lets out any pent up frustration or wiggles that need to get out, and it increases the bond between you and your child.
Why is this important?
Because for many toddlers, if they feel like their cup has been 'filled up' during the day, their desire for attention can come out at bedtime, even if it's negative attention.
Toddlers don't discriminate- whether you're having fun with them, or getting frustrated and giving into all their demands- attention is attention.
So, can you see how awareness is important here?
When we are aware of our child's needs- and take action to fill up their cup, it helps with bedtime struggles.
So here's your homework!
Take 10-20 minutes of uninterrupted time, each day, to engage in physical play with your toddler.
Don't expect it to change things right away, but with the idea of building connection first.
Then let me know how it goes!
Here for you,
P.s. Do you have a toddler that doesn't sleep well? I get it, bedtime can be super frustrating if the non-stop demands and negotiations take hours, and now everyone's evening is ruined.
If you're ready to get bedtime back, don't hesitate! Let's work together to get everyone sleeping and enjoying the process!