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My four year old just won’t go to sleep at night without hours of negotiations, bathroom breaks, water trips, and more. We try not to give in to him, but sometimes we are just so tired. To make matters worse, my 2 year old is starting to do the same thing. The older kids were never like this! How can I make bedtime better for all of us?? -- Bonnie, Strongmoms Facilitator
You can try to maybe put up a colorful schedule that your kids can see so that at night they will be able to anticipate what will be coming up in the bedtime schedule before it happens. Also doing the same thing every night. Also I would try and limit your kids for drinks at night like saying no more water after a certain time. This way if you set it up to not have water an hour before bedtime they will not be getting up as much to go to the bathroom. Also an hour before bedtime have them have a wind dow time so that by bed time they will be more tired instead of energetic and ready to go. The wind down time is important to let kids know that it will be time for bed soon. Like you could sit in a circle and read a book with your kids which would be a nice calming activity.
I feel for you Bonnie because we have similar issues at night with our five year old and three year old. A routine is always helpful and common sense, but if you are like us, we are not great at adhering to the routine due to a variety of circumstances. If our kids are restless, we let them look at books in bed and provide incentives for them to sleep through the night. Bribery is one of our main tools, as we reward them with a trip to the movies or a meal at their favorite restaurant if they are in bed for good by a certain time throughout the week. That has worked for us recently. Good luck!