Is your child a master at stalling bedtime?
Children can be incredibly crafty at putting off bedtime for as long as they possibly can. Typically and cleverly they often save their best, and sometimes hilarious, inquisitive questions for bedtime. As their little lives develop and grow, their world becomes much bigger and they start to process far more. Changes to their emotions, thoughts, relationships, surroundings, friends etc. all influence how they sleep at night. As parents, we need to help them wind down after a busy day and make sure that they feel safe and loved to help with bedtime.
Separation anxiety and night-time fears tend to play a big part in bedtime stalling. One of the best things you can do is help them to feel safe, warm and snug. Try to take their fears seriously and help address them. Help them to look in the wardrobe and under the bed and make sure there aren’t any scaries hiding. This will help give them lots of reassurance.
Here are some tips on how to help with bedtime stalling:
- Children often stall because they are trying to express their need to connect with you and have some quality time. Try to have some tech free time with your child, such as, reading, colouring, play a board game or listening to some music.
- Give your child the opportunity to ask her inquisitive questions earlier on in the day.
- Make sure your child has a suitable bedtime, you don’t want them getting overtired and resisting sleep.
- A good and relaxing bedtime routine.
- Develop the ability to gently disengage with your child when they start to ask you hundreds of questions. Make it clear that it is bedtime and that you are tucking them in for the last time.
- Talk about sleep positively – share the importance of sleep with your child and how it will help them grow mentally and physically.
- If your child is younger than 4 years old, make sure they are not nap deprived. Nap deprivation will cause more struggle at bedtime and could cause night awakenings and early rising.