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Bedtime Rituals

Have you ever heard your 3-year-old say, “mommy, I’m really tired. I think I’ll brush my teeth, put on my pajamas and get in bed”? We haven’t either. Children naturally resist bedtime. That’s why it’s important to follow the same bedtime routine every night.

Start with a “winding-down” time period of about an hour before bedtime. It should be at the same time each night. Keep the house quiet and all electronic devices, television, games, etc., turned off. Also limit fluids during this time to prevent a potty accident in the middle of the night.

You can have fun helping your child brush her teeth by asking her to look up at the ceiling for the imaginary dinosaur, while you look down into her mouth. Then it’s one more visit to the potty and then into the the pajamas. Let her pick out a cuddly plush toy and a book for you to read to her.

Tuck her in and turn out the lights. If she still needs you in the room, you can tell her a story in the dark room. She may request a story every night, so you’ll have to be creative and think of new material. Otherwise, you’ll hear, “mommy, I’ve already heard this one.”

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