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Your toddler now
Prepping for bedtime
Even the most snooze-inducing bedtime routine is useless if your child doesn't want to go to bed.
Your 19-month-old may suddenly refuse to hit the hay because he's better able to visualize the world that takes place without him. He might be convinced that while he's lying there all alone in that boring bed, Mom and Dad are having fun, fun, fun! It's especially frustrating for a child who can hear the sounds of the TV or people talking.
Reinforce the idea that nighttime is for sleeping by gradually winding down the day's activities as bedtime nears. Talk about what's coming: "Now it's toothbrushing time. Then we'll read two stories and turn out the lights." Avoid prolonging the routine. Set limits and stick to them.
To transition from co-sleeping to independent sleeping, we put our son on a mattress on the floor, pushed between the wall and our bed so he can't roll off in either direction. When he wakes up in the middle of the night, I can just roll down and comfort him. Then I try to make it back up to my bed.
Dare to discipline
One discipline strategy that never succeeds with a worked-up toddler is reasoning with him.
A young toddler can't think rationally at the best of times, so appealing to logic or offering long-winded explanations won't win a battle of wills. Instead, your stream of words will probably just enrage your child further. Better to state your rule in simple terms and move on.
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