Making Bedtime Fun for Strong-Willed Toddlers

Making Bedtime Fun for Strong-Willed Toddlers | Baby Chick

Making Bedtime Fun for Strong-Willed Toddlers

Our daughter hated bedtime for the first two years of her life. And honestly, it’s still not her most favorite thing in the world. And since she’s so strong-willed, it’s been a challenge trying to figure out how to make bedtime something that is fun and exciting, rather than dreadful and frustrating.

Now that we’ve had a couple years of trial and error, I’ve found a few things have been excellent to incorporate in our bedtime routine with her. So if you’re a parent who also has a strong-willed child, these tips below might be a night-saver!

1. Make it Overly Exciting and Interactive

The thing about strong-willed children, is many times, their negative responses or one-track mindsets can be diffused with joy, laughter, or excitement. For our daughter, when the clock strikes 8:29, we do a sort of “countdown,” almost as thrilling and as exciting as the New Year’s Eve Ball Drop in Times Square. We explain to her that when the clock shows the numbers 8, 3, and 0, that it’s time to celebrate and run to her room. So when 8:30 finally hits, we all scream, laugh, shout, jump, sing, dance, and run straight to her room. Doing this lessens the negative anticipation, and replaces it with a fun activity filled with positive emotions.

2. Let Your Child Choose a Bedtime Book or Stuffed Animal

Giving our daughter the opportunity to pick out what she wants to read before bed, or what stuffed animal she wants to sleep with, gives her strong-willed personality a sense of purpose, even over an event as simple as bedtime. Letting her have control over those decisions empowers her to make a choice that she will be happy with, and is one step closer to her agreeing to go to sleep. Giving choices to strong-willed children not only keeps them within the parameters of what you’re wanting them to do (go to sleep), but it also makes them excited to “take the lead” per say.

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3. Find a Cool Night Light

Many kids are afraid of the dark, and require a night light anyway. Our daughter, though, is not afraid of the dark, but we found that getting her a cool nightlight caused her to get excited about bedtime, because the only time she could experience this fun “toy” was in the evening. We ordered a moon-shaped nightlight from Amazon, one that changes colors or you can select a color your child wants the moon to be. Each night, we gave our daughter the option to pick her “color,” or to choose the alternating color method. Since this nightlight is interactive (and I’m sure there’s tons of fun options out there), it became a fun activity to look forward to each night.

4. Let Them Fix Up Their Diffuser

We use tons of essential oils in our house, mainly because they help us sleep and keep us healthy when we diffuse them in our bedroom at night. Because of this, we decided to get our daughter her own diffuser for her bedroom. Each night, we let her be the one to put the water in it, add drops 4-6 of whatever essential oils she is wanting/needing, put the lid back on, and turn it on. Again, this gives her control of things. Allowing her to be the one to take action steps and make decisions that empower her strong personality rather than irritate or frustrate it.

5. Hype Up the Plans for the Next Day

After all the steps above are completed, we pray over her and let her know in full detail what our plans our for the next day. We share them with excitement, with vigor, letting her know that the only way that will happen is if she goes to sleep. Doing this refocuses her attention away from the “dreaded idea of going to bed,” and rather gets her excited about what’s to come if she simply relaxes and closes her eyes.

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Lastly, sticking with these tips consistently has caused bedtime to be one of fun rather than dread. These simple tips have allowed our nightly routine to be full of laughs rather than tears. Raising strong-willed kids can be challenging. But learning tips and tricks to make life better for yourself and for them is so worth it!

About the Author /

Wife, mother of two, a former CBS station news reporter and TV morning show host, and owner of HealthierHannah.com

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Instagram post 17862171103601373 All of these things make me happy. What would you add to your self care toolbox?⁠
I'm seriously needing some of these things tonight to start a new week. Hoping you mamas get some self care time too! 💕⁠
📷: @hallmark⁠
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Instagram post 18073051357163780 When it comes to clamping the cord, our mottos is "what's the rush?" The blood volume in the placenta and cord at the time of birth is BABY'S blood. It's simply mid-circulation in the placenta at the time of birth. It just makes sense to leave it be and let it finish its job.⁠
No, the blood won't drain out of baby and go backwards into the placenta.⁠
No, your baby is not more likely to get sick from jaundice.⁠
Yes, your baby will still be getting oxygen while they figure out breathing, especially important if they need resuscitation.⁠
Yes, your baby will have better iron levels for the first year of their life.⁠
Look at how thick and engorged this cord still is at 4 and 18 minutes after baby was born. Just imagine how much blood baby would have lost if the cord had been clamped immediately, or at 60 seconds, 90 seconds, or 3 minutes! The placenta was expelled immediately before the 18 minute photo was taken. The pulse in the cord could still be felt even AFTER THE PLACENTA HAD BEEN DELIVERED! The cord was finally clamped and cut more than an hour after birth at 73 minutes. ❤️⁠
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Informative post and words by @bundleborn⁠
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Instagram post 17844162355818683 I think I had a little too much turkey . . . and pie. 😬🍗🥧 #leggingsforlife⁠
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Instagram post 17990835490280335 I totally felt this way when I was pregnant. And kinda feel this way after all that turkey. 🤣🦃 Happy turkey day to all you expecting mamas!!⁠
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Instagram post 17852562805720320 Loneliness is a real thing in new motherhood and I want to be sure we talk about this. It's okay to say, "I feel lonely." We normalize one another's experiences when we share the reality of our journey. It can be so isolating when we bring our small human home and our lives revolve around his/her care. We feel detached from the outside world. The monotony of new motherhood can be heavy.⁠
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Here are some tips to combat isolation:⁠
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1️⃣ Get outside when possible.⁠
2️⃣ Video chat with friends/family.⁠
3️⃣ Join a virtual group.⁠
4️⃣ Invite someone to come over.⁠
5️⃣ Find a local mom's group.⁠
6️⃣ Listen to the radio or a podcast (it's interesting how this can make us feel connected with others)⁠
7️⃣ Run an errand--even grabbing a coffee via drive-thru can feel good.⁠
8️⃣ Get to know your neighbors.⁠
What would you add to the list?⁠
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