Dealing With Bedtime Tantrums
Updated: Mar 10
From my own parenting experience, I have seen 3 types of tantrums.
The Meltdown (too tired to cope)
The Manipulative (I want what I want)
The Frustration (developmental)
I wanted to make sure that I wasn’t way off on this so I researched to see what others had to say about tantrums. Here are some links that I found very informative in case you would like to learn more:
It’s great to know that our child isn’t the only one doing these, isn’t it?
A question came to me from a Mom not too long ago asking “how do I deal with the bedtime tantrum?”
So, I am only going to be touching on this topic, not the other types of tantrums.
IF your toddler is having bedtime tantrums, it’s because they are tired. In fact, they are overtired!
There are days we may have to push our toddler...we have that extra errand we needed to get done, or we had a Doctor’s appt. that took too long and went through nap time, or supper went late at a friend’s house. You get it right? We’ve all been there. Now we’ve come to bedtime and your toddler is DONE. They don’t want to read that book, actually, they want to read 3 books. Bath time wasn’t long enough. The sheets are covering their toes. And it goes on and on. With intense crying.
So how do you deal with it?
Is it happening more often then it should? Every night, a couple times a week? If so, reconsider your toddler’s schedule. Maybe you need to move their bedtime even 15 minutes earlier, maybe they’re napping too late or maybe they keep skipping naps that they need.
IF you know they’re going to be overtired by the end of the day, you can take these steps...
-Maybe skip the bath for tonight if you can, so they get to bed a little earlier then usual. OR if they have to have a bath let them know it will be shorter tonight. Sometimes just letting them know ahead of time helps them to prepare mentally.
-Giving options and letting them feel like they’re in control helps too.
Give them two choices for a snack
Let them choose the book or song
Get them to choose their pyjamas and blanket/teddy to sleep with.
-Let your toddler know what’s coming next. You can do this by setting timers, or just counting down.
“5 more minutes until it’s time to clean up your toys”
“2 more minutes of bath time left”, etc.
-As hard as it is to do sometimes, remain CALM! Your toddler will only get worked up more if you are getting worked up. Switch off with your partner if you can.
-Keep consistent. Giving in will only make the next night harder. Toddlers like to push boundaries.
The next day you can start from scratch and avoid overtiredness. Add an extra nap if they need it, or do an early bedtime.
IF you are dealing with these bedtime tantrums on a daily basis and you aren’t sure how to adjust your little one's schedule to prevent them from becoming overtired, grab yourself a copy of my FREE "Mom's Schedule Cheat Sheet".