How to Find the Right Bedtime for Your Toddler
Sometimes when we’re trying to understand why a child is fighting bedtime, we tend to overlook the obvious: we picked the wrong time! If your little one is yelling, “No, no, no!” at nighttime, ask yourself these questions:
Is your bedtime too early? Look for these clues:
- Your tot fights falling asleep for 30-60 minutes.
- She shows no sign of fatigue at bedtime.
- She wakes up in the middle of the night or very early the next day, refreshed and ready to go.
Is bedtime too late? Look for these clues:
- Your child fights falling asleep for 30-60 minutes.
- She has trouble waking in the morning; she’s extra cranky and moody during the day; and she falls asleep during car or stroller rides.
- She shows clear signs of fatigue at bedtime (rubbing her eyes, blinking, yawning, getting silly and wild, acting cranky, having accidents).
If you think bedtime is too early, try pushing the bedtime routine 15 minutes later, 2-3 nights. If you think bedtime is too late, start the routine 15 minutes earlier every 2-3 nights. Either approach should work within a week or two.