Nap/Bedtime Routine - FamilyEducation
Nap/Bedtime Routine
09/22/2009 at 13:10 PM

Hi there-
I just wanted to get some suggestions....

My daughter is 2 1/2 and she is our only child right now.  Her naptime and bedtime routine have developed into quite a lenghty process.  My husband and I don't have any other children to tend to, so we have always taken our time with putting her down.  The problem we are facing now, is that she will not go down easily if we do not do the whole entire process and to be honest, some nights we are just exhausted and would like to read one book and say goodnight!  Same is true of naptime.  There are days when I would like to make it quick because I have things I would like to get done.  We are also thinking of having another baby and are thinking our time may not be so available.  Has anyone else faced this and have any suggestions????

How about a completely new routine?  Set some artificial date--that comes this week.  "This is Election Day, and on Election Day it's time to be more grown up."  Then, institute your new routine.  When I was doing home day care, after the essential bed-time stuff was done (potty, brush teeth, drink) I'd tell the children they had to lay down for just one song.  I'd put some long beethoven symphony on the CD player, walk out and close the door.  (We did our reading earlier in the day.)

If they could stay awake till the long song was over, they could get up.  The never did.  After a while, they became conditioned so that the first few phrases of that music made them sleepy.  I hope that when they start driving cars, they don't listen to classical music!


Hi there-

I think that is a great idea...and we have tried switching it up but she just cries and keeps getting out of bed. She is very much a creature of habit and getting good at stalling! Then we do the typical put her back in bed and tell her goodnight over and over again until she falls asleep which could take 20 minutes.  At that point, we just feel like it would have been easier to have our marathon bedtime routine instead!  I just thought at 2 1/2 bedtime would be easy..she was always so easy as an infant!!!!


Perhaps you and your husband should consider changing the sleeping routines.  Right now your daughter has all of the control, but you need to regain it. Stalling tactics, fits, leaving the bed, going to the parents bed, etc... should be stopped before it becomes a real problem.

It takes a firm but caring hand on your part, consistency, and stamina.  You decide what is acceptible and then act. The first few days will probably be hard on you.  Maybe she will cry or scream because she won't like this kind of change.  Just remember, this is for her benefit, as well as yours (especially if you are thinking of having another baby).  Children this age do very well on routine, so a new regime will be accepted, just not overnight.  It took my 20 month old son about 3-4 days to assimilate the new nap and bedtime routines.  It made a huge difference.  It has worked a charm ever since and he is now 2 1/2. Good Luck!