Family Magazine

Getting Preschoolers to Bed

By Slattenk
One mom wrote about the horrible time they was having trying to get her two boys, ages 2 and 4, to bed. They've tried all these things and nothing has worked:
  • separate rooms
  • reading them to sleep
  • comforting them to sleep
  • rubbing their backs
  • ignoring them
  • yelling
  • taking privileges and toys away
  • sitting in their room with them
  • sitting in the hallway and taking them back to bed if they come out
  • taking them back to bed without saying anything or making eye contact

The boys were not getting enough sleep and then were crabby the next day. Mom and Dad were frustrated and ready to find some way to get more sleep for everyone.
I explained what worked well with our kids at that age - and she found it worked for her kids too!
We told our children it was bedroom time at 8:30. By that time they were ready for bed, stories were read and we left. They could still look at books quietly in their beds if they wanted to.
We explained if they needed to use the bathroom or get a drink of water, that was fine ... just sneak in and out of their room so we don't see them. However, if they need us that's still fine, they can come and get us but then tomorrow night they have to go to bed 15 minutes earlier.
They couldn't tell time at that age but the idea of going to bed earlier the next night caught their attention and they stayed in their rooms!
Getting Preschoolers to Bed

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