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Is Toddler Bedtime a Disaster?

Toddler's always seem to get a burst of energy right before bed, leading to bedtime being a nightmare! Here's how to handle your little one to avoid the bedtime struggle bus.

sleeping toddler

Toddlers, we love them, they drive us up a wall, they are snuggle bugs and straight up mean sometimes. It's amazing the array of emotions and personalities that such a tiny human can have! I'm a mom of 4. Sometimes I wonder if the age 3 or 4 or 5 is the hardest. What I do know is they are all hard in their own way and they all usually protest bedtime in some way or another - tears, fighting, screaming, burst of energy - you name it, I've seen it all!

As parents, we often think that trying to give our toddler "down time" before bed is going to help calm them down. But in reality, the type of "down time" your toddler needs is completely different than what you would expect!

Here are my favorite activities I suggest to my toddler clients:

Take an after dinner walk

It doesn't have to be long and it doesn't have to be far! Getting outside, even for 15 minutes is good for everyone, including you mama!

Play a toddler friendly game or puzzles

I love using games to play with toddlers (and preschoolers+) They don't have to be long or even finished but most games are educational in some way and make their brain work in different ways! Puzzles are another great option! I love this one so much because I am not a strong imagination player with my kids lol.

Play with their favorite toys with them

Cars, trucks, barbie, dolls, restaurant, whatever they enjoy playing! If you are a mom who can sit and play with your kids like this, its a great way to bond at the end of a long day. Or maybe you partner can play with your toddler while you get a little quiet time!

Include them in cleaning up the house

This one takes practice and patience. Our toddlers love to be up our bums all the time and what better way for them to actually be helpful! Start small, putting their toys in a bin, placing pillows on the couch, finding trash around the house, putting laundry in a hamper - keep them close and help guide them(so they don't make a bigger mess). Bonus - less for you to do after they are finally asleep!

Did you notice that nothing I mentioned involved screens? Children don't need screens to calm them down at the end of the day, they need activity to get the last jitters out before bed!

If you are struggling with your toddler's sleep - hour+ long bedtime routines, co-sleeping, frequent night wakes, early morning wakes - book a free call to talk all things sleep and to learn more about how my 1:1 private coaching program will help your toddler start going to bed with ease, sleeping through the night, end nightly struggles and finally start giving you time back at the end of each day!

Wishing you restful sleep,

                xo, Dee


Danielle Ubhaus, The Restful Haus, Pediatric Sleep Consultant

About Dee: Dee is a Certified Pediatric Sleep Coach and founder of The Restful Haus, where she helps families 1:1 with their children ages 0 - 4 years old. She is a New Jersey native and currently resides in Colorado with her husband and 4 daughters (ranging from 2 years to 8 years old). She enjoys spending time with her family, the Jersey Shore, music, traveling with her husband + kiddos and on the rare occasion, sitting down to read a murder mystery book.

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