Toddler Bedtime Progression

The other night after I got back from taking the kids and the dog for a little hike in the woods, the husband took care of toddler bedtime.  (I’ve been pretty fortunate… he’s always done the kids’ bedtime routines.)  In our household, toddler bedtime isn’t a cause for fighting, tears, or anything else.  In fact, it’s gotten so darned easy that it’s amazing.

Cozy in bed

All the husband did was tell Norton “It’s time for bed.”

Norton grabbed pillow, ran into his room, and closed the door.

Seriously.  That was it.

Of course, it wasn’t always this easy.  It was a bit of a progress thing after moving Norton into his new bedroom in January.  The first night in his brand new Elmo toddler bed was a bit of a challenge.  He cried, and in the end, the husband moved his mattress back into the crib converted to toddler bed in the nursery.  That, fortunately, only lasted one night.

The second night, he reluctantly went in his new room but climbed into bed as soon as we were in the room.  The husband would tuck Norton in, set Scout to play lullabies for ten minutes, and go.  That lasted for a week or so.

The next phase in toddler bedtime progression was Norton would cheerfully go into his room when it was bedtime.  He would climb in his bed with little to no complaint, snuggle up with his Pillow, and have ten minutes of Scout playing lullabies.

Now?  The husband says, “Okay, it’s bedtime.  Pillow needs to sleep.”  (Or some variation thereof.)  Norton gets pillow, trucks down the hall to his room, and closes the door.  Sure, sometimes he plays in his room for a few hours, but who cares?  He’s happy and he goes to sleep when he’s ready.  And we don’t have any form of fights when it’s time for bed.  Even the toddler nap is often that easy… as long as I tell him “Pillow needs a nap.”  Because, well, Norton doesn’t get tired or need naps.  Just Pillow.  And he loves Pillow very, very much.

I suppose I could fight him and try to make him go to bed when he’s not ready to sleep.  But what would that accomplish?  He shuts down when he does finally need to sleep.  It just happens to always go easier when he’s got Pillow to snuggle up to.

What does your toddler bedtime look like?

About Suzi

Suzi is an American ex-pat living in British Columbia. She's a cloth diaper addict, wife, mom of three, and President of the Prince George chapter of Cloth for a Cause.

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