18-Month-Old Toddler Development: Bedtime Battles
Ah, bedtime. It's that magical moment when the house becomes quiet for the first time since dawn and the kids actually look like innocent little angels snuggled in their beds. Now if only you could get there without a knock-down, drag-out fight every night, life would be groovy. What you're thinking: "I. Survived. Another. Day."
- You did it. You made it through tantrums and food fights and diaper explosions all the way to bedtime. But just when you can spot the light at the end of the tunnel, your sleep-adverse toddler kicks things up a notch. Even in your most rested state, her antics would be trying, but as is they're enough to send you over the edge. Before you throw a tantrum of your own, check out these tried and true bedtime battle busters.
- The best way to avoid a standoff at snooze time is to establish a rock-solid bedtime routine that you follow to the letter every single night. Kids thrive when life is predictable and scheduled out—don't knock it: Your boring is their bliss!
- Don't let your little insomniac get overtired or she may have a hard time settling down at night (that's the understatement of the year, btw). But don't try to put her down too early, either. We know it'd be fabulous to watch the five o'clock news without your Whirling Dervish wreaking havoc in the background, but it's not realistic. That's what TiVo is for.
- If your kid has a hard time going to sleep at night, revisit her nap schedule. Some time in their second year, most toddlers drop one of their naps and go down to one per day. If your kid is still bouncing off the walls at 11 PM but slept like a baby for four hours that day, you may have found the culprit. Kids this age need 12 to 14 hours of sleep total, including naps and nighttime sleep. If only you could get half that much, huh?!
- If you're really ready to get down to brass tacks with this bedtime stuff, check out our Kids Sleep Training Boot Camp and 30 Days to a Good Night's Sleep programs. Dr. Marc Weissbluth and the Sleep Lady, Kim West, have loads of expert information to get everyone in your house sleeping better.
- Finally, try not to get too frustrated with the process, if you can help it. It takes time and patience to get into a good sleep routine. And just think, when you do get your routine down, you'll have both time and patience to spare!
- "I don't understand why my husband does it! Even though I have told him time and time again that our daughter needs to be in bed at a certain hour every night, he never listens to me.
Read more of "Bedtime Is Bedtime" by Mom2Karma
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All kids grow and develop at different rates. So please don't compare your toddler with so-and-so's from across the street—you'll just drive yourself nuts. If you have any concerns, bring them up with your pediatrician at your kid's next checkup.