Read these 20 Bedtime Tips tips to make your life smarter, better, faster and wiser. Each tip is approved by our Editors and created by expert writers so great we call them Gurus. LifeTips is the place to go when you need to know about Mom tips and hundreds of other topics.
To get your toddler to stay in his own bed, always take him straight back there, but don't start unless you're committed to sorting out the problem. It's worth it in the end, but it's very tiring and there's no point getting up just a few times and then giving up.
Does your child find a dozen or more excuses to keep you coming back into his room after lights out? My son recently developed an irrational fear of my leaving him -- to the point where he panicked if I wasn't within view. Needless to say, this made bedtime very difficult. So I put a photograph of myself on the table next to his bed and told him that with my picture watching over him, he would know I was always with him. That helped him feel more secure and now bedtime battles are a thing of the past.
So. You've invited some of your child's friends over for a sleep over? You brave soul. I hope that they are either seasoned veterans of sleeping in a place other than their own beds or are at least 4 - 5 years old. To have to phone and ask their parents to come get them is too miserable all around. Make sure before the parents leave the first time that any security blankets, toys or books are with the child.
Make sure your children's sleepwear is either flame-resistant or snug-fitting. Loose-fitting T-shirts and other loose-fitting clothing made of cotton or cottonblends should not be used for children's sleepwear as it can easily catch fire and cause the child to be burned.
Dress your infant for bed the same as you do for extreme weather outdoors... appropriately. If the child's room is warm, don't overheat the child by putting on flannel p.j.s and then wrapping tightly in an arctic fleece blanket. Conversely, if the room is cold, an extra layer beyond a diaper and undergarment would be more suiting.
Babies should never be put to bed in a front (face down) lying position. Research has shown a higher rate of crib deaths due to this. If the baby does not settle quickly, check garments for pressure points, like sharp labels, rough snaps or an overlong tie. Trim or remove as necessary.
If a child seems afraid of monsters hiding somewhere in the room, remember that to him, THEY ARE REAL. Treat the situation respectfully and thoroughly search every place he seems afraid of. Leaving the door open a little wider and an extra light on may also help.
Let them stay up a little bit past their regular bedtime. The easiest way to ensure some effort towards this goal is to plan to start an age appropriate movie right after completion of their normal bedtime rituals. If possible, set a TV/VCR up in the same room where the children will sleep. If they happen to fall asleep prematurely, just leave them.