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Sweet dreams: How to get the wild one to sleep

The toddler you’re sitting tonight has enough energy for the both of you. You’ve handled her endless energy like a pro, but it’s getting dark out and she’s not showing any signs of slowing down. Her parents are gonna be out all night—how in the world are you going to get this tike to bed? 


Serve up a “Midnight” Snack

It’s all about the gradual wind-down. Offer her a li’l snack or drink (Cookies and milk? Mmm, yes please!) But be crystal clear: as soon as she’s done, it’s time to head upstairs. And don’t give her candy or anything too sugary, or she’ll be bouncing off the walls for hours. In the meantime, get her to sit down, chill out and talk. After all that running around, it’ll be a nice change. Phew!


Bathe, Brush, Bed

Once she’s done munching, march her upstairs. Help her go through her regular bedtime routine—taking a bath, putting on her PJs and brushing her teeth. Fight that plaque, girlie—it’s time to wash up and slow down.


Once upon a time…

When she’s all cozied up in her PJs and tucked into bed, it’s time for the perf end to the day—a great bedtime story. Tell her your fave from when you were a kid. No stories of your own? Don’t fret! Read a classic one instead—try these. Wanna mix things up a bit? Show off your musical chops by pulling out your guitar or singing a lullaby. Bravo.


Sleep tight, don’t let the bed bugs bite

If you think it’ll be A-OK with the ‘rents, give them a ring and let her say a quick goodnight. Come on, who doesn’t feel better after an “I love you” from mom? Let her know Mommy and Daddy will be home soon and she’ll be snoozing away in no time.


Lights out (except the nightlight)

If she’s still a tad anxious about catching some Zs, stay in the room until she falls asleep. Or, leave the door open and stay somewhere nearby. Whether you’re working on your homework or grooving to your iPod, sweet dreams (and you) will be right around the corner.

BY KRISTEN YEUNG ON 11/28/2010 7:00:00 AM


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