Bedtime boundaries will help your toddler thrive

Bedtime boundaries will help your toddler thrive

Toddlers love to test boundaries, and they know that the one thing you want from them at bedtime is for them to go to sleep, so they’ll use that to their advantage. I know it sounds a little diabolical, but it’s their way of seeing where your boundaries lie and how much authority they actually have.

So one night they will ask for a glass of milk, and the parents would think, “What’s the harm?” The next night, they ask for a glass of milk and an extra story. A week later, they want a glass of milk, an extra story, and three hugs and two goodnight kisses. Little by little, these crazy bedtime routines get established, all according to what the toddler wants.

Here’s a simple, two-step solution to this issue:

  1. Establish a short enough bedtime routine.
  2. Never deviate from it.

Bedtime routines can help toddlers develop healthy sleep habits, which can benefit their physical and mental health. Establishing a set bedtime and sticking to it every night can help your child fall asleep more quickly and sleep more soundly.

But setting clear boundaries at bedtime is important for toddlers for many other reasons:

  1. It encourages independence – Bedtime routines and boundaries can help toddlers feel more in control and independent, which can boost their confidence and self-esteem.
  2. It promotes good behavior – By setting clear bedtime boundaries, you can encourage good behavior throughout the day. Toddlers take a great amount of comfort in knowing that you, the parent, are firmly in charge and are confident in your decisions.
  3. It helps with transitions – Bedtime routines can also help with transitions, as they provide a predictable structure that toddlers can rely on. This can help reduce anxiety and stress as toddlers move from being awake to being asleep.
  4. Improves parent-child relationship – Consistent and fair bedtime routines can also improve the parent-child relationship by setting clear expectations and promoting mutual respect.

With this in mind, always remember that every child is unique and may require different bedtime routines and boundaries. Be firm but still open to making changes as needed. At the end of the day, isn’t that what parenting is all about?

– Sara

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