For some toddlers, sleep is a battlefield. Instead of winding down when they get tired, they seem to get more of everything- more arguing, more protests, more desperation to just get these little ones to sleep so you might finally unwind.
Falling asleep is a habit-all kids are capable of learning it (however much they put up a fight). These are a few tried-and-tested tips we've accumulated to get your fussy toddler to sleep!
Have the consistent bedtime routine every night
Routines are good because that way they instil a sense of calm and inevitability. Dinner, bath-time, story-time, tooth-brushing, and then bed. The fewer steps, the better the routine, as each step can take up more time depending on your little one's mood.
Have a routine for each parent, that way there aren't any surprises if one parent is busy one night. If your toddler is resisting the routine, make the clock the bad guy! Just say "Look, it’s 7:30! If you brush your teeth now, we’ll have time for an extra story before lights out at 7:50!” This way, your child now sees you as their advocate against the clock.
Start the bedtime routine early
Toddlers aren't going to start to decompress just because you want to. In order to make sure your little one isn't upset it's bedtime, make sure the couple of hours before bed are calm. This is why a simple routine is your best bet. Think of this time as your time with your child, and not as a chore.
Make sure your child had enough outdoor activity time/exercise throughout the day
If your child had an animated day filled with fresh air and exercise, they will be more tired in time for bed! A fun and active game like chasing your little one around the house before dinner should help to tire them out enough for the calming bedtime routine. Just be sure to play these games before dinner, and not after so they're not too animated before lights out!