Candi of Nannies4hire.com has some great tips for helping get kids to fall asleep. I have a feelings these tips will come in handy, especially after the transitioning to toddler beds post that we ran on Friday.
We know that some kids go to bed easily. They do what you ask them to do in a timely and compliant manner. Oh, but then there are those kids who beg for five more minutes of play time or drag out the bedtime ritual . . . and the kids who lay in bed and wail in the hopes that you will come and rescue them from their beds. How do you handle these kids to get them to go to bed with minimum fuss?
The five-more-minutes kids and the dragging-out-bedtime-rituals kids: these kids either thoroughly enjoy whatever they are doing at the time or they just don’t like bedtime. Either way, their parents have tasked you with putting them to bed on time, and you must do so. Usually, we have enough knowledge of the kids in our care to know what may be driving their behaviors . . . find a motivator that will incent them to go to bed without further fuss. For example, if the kids hate missing out on social interaction, you can offer to lay down with them until they are asleep.
The lay-in-bed-and-wail kids: these kids have learned that crying loudly (and often exaggeratedly) will get adults to do what they want. This can be a tricky situation for a baby sitter. If you ignore the manipulative behavior, will the parents perceive your choice to be neglectful or cold? If you capitulate to the manipulative behavior (because, presumably, that’s what the parents have historically done), then will you further reinforce the manipulative behavior? It’s best to visit with the parents to determine how they want you to respond to this situation.
Another tip: determine what lulls the kids. Lulling things can include soft music or absolute silence, complete darkness or dim light, comforting scents (e.g., the kids’ moms’ perfume), and rocking or a back rub. About 45 minutes before bedtime, you should get the kids ready for bed (teeth brushed, jammies on, etc.). Then, for the 30 minutes before bedtime, use the lulling techniques to induce drowsiness before the kids ever get tucked in bed.
What tips and tricks do you have for putting your kids to sleep?