How to Get Your Child to Go to Sleep (In 87 Hilarious Steps)

It’s 7pm. Your toddler is burning around the house like they’ve just consumed five mugs of coffee.

And you’re mentally preparing for the next task at hand – convincing this little ball of energy to actually stop and go to sleep.

Don’t worry. We’ve got you covered. Here’s how to put your child to bed. In 87 simple steps. Oh, and most likely a bottle of wine.

  1. Tell your toddler it’s time to take a bath.
  2. Listen to your toddler refuse to take a bath.
  3. Put toddler in bath anyway.
  4. Watch as toddler covers the entire bathroom floor with water.
  5. Tell toddler it’s time to get out of the bath.
  6. Listen to your toddler refuse to leave the bath.
  7. Pull him out anyway.
  8. Dry him.
  9. Attempt to brush his teeth.
  10. Be informed by toddler that he can brush his own teeth.
  11. Chase him naked around the living room for three laps.
  12. Catch him and put a nappy on his bum.
  13. Wipe the sweat off your forehead.
  14. Dress him in pyjamas.
  15. Be informed by your toddler that the pyjamas are too itchy.
  16. Redress in new pyjamas.
  17. Be informed by your toddler that these pyjamas are not soft enough.
  18. Give up on the idea of wearing pyjamas to bed.
  19. Place five books on toddler’s bed.
  20. Let toddler pick the books he wants.
  21. Read all five of them. Three times each.
  22. Tell your toddler it’s lights out.
  23. Give your toddler cuddles, kisses and tickles for ten minutes.
  24. Assume toddler is asleep.
  25. Try to escape the bed.
  26. Watch as toddler’s eyes flash open.
  27. Be informed by toddler that you cannot leave the bed.
  28. Sit back down next to toddler.
  29. Be informed by toddler that the blanket is too hot.
  30. Change the blanket.
  31. Be informed by toddler that he is not tired.
  32. Ignore him.
  33. Assume silence means he’s fallen asleep.
  34. Escape to the couch.
  35. Open wine.
  36. Listen to toddler’s footsteps coming into the kitchen.
  37. Be informed by toddler that he is thirsty.
  38. And hungry.
  39. Also he peed.
  40. And pooped.
  41. Change toddler.
  42. Give him some water.
  43. And a banana.
  44. Return him to bed.
  45. Be informed by toddler that he needs a song.
  46. Start singing.
  47. Be informed by toddler that you are singing the song wrong.
  48. Try again.
  49. Text your partner from toddler’s bed, asking him to pour you a glass of wine.
  50. Continue singing, tickling and patting toddler simultaneously.
  51. Make your escape.
  52. Find glass of wine on counter.
  53. Consume it.
  54. Sit down on couch.
  55. Hear toddler’s footsteps coming down the hallway.
  56. Be informed by toddler that he can hear the television.
  57. Turn the TV off.
  58. Be informed by toddler that it’s too quiet.
  59. Walk toddler back into his bed.
  60. Start singing, tickling, patting all over.
  61. Be informed by toddler that he didn’t say goodnight to his teddies.
  62. Or feed the fish.
  63. Also he needs a band-aid.
  64. Grab him a band-aid and pour another wine on the way back into his room.
  65. Consume it.
  66. Be informed by toddler that a dog is barking outside.
  67. Tell him to ignore the dog and close his eyes.
  68. Be informed by toddler that his eyes won’t shut.
  69. Contemplate getting the glue gun out.
  70. Decide against it and continue tickling.
  71. Assume toddler has FINALLY fallen asleep and make your escape.
  72. Consume wine.
  73. Hear the footsteps… again.
  74. Be informed by toddler that there is a bug on the wall.
  75. Walk toddler back to his room.
  76. Look for the bug.
  77. Be informed by toddler the bug might have been imaginary.
  78. Tell him that if he goes to sleep, he can have a chocolate tomorrow.
  79. And a toy.
  80. Seal the deal and exit the room.
  81. Pour more wine and wait for the footsteps.
  82. Hear them.
  83. Find cheeky toddler standing at the entrance.
  84. Be informed by toddler that they cannot sleep unless you sleep next to them.
  85. Agree. Because, really, what other choice do you have?
  86. Lie down beside toddler for ten minutes.
  87. Wake up three hours later. Most likely with a toddler’s foot in your face.

So there you have it. 87 super easy steps to get your child to actually go to sleep. And who said this parenting toddler thing was tricky?

Looking for a less intense way to convince your child it’s time for bed? Have a look at these easy-to-follow bedtime routines (all with six steps or less). 

And if you’d like to try a swaddle, sleeping bag or sleep suit for your baby or toddler, then here’s a brilliant Sleep Week offer just for Mum Central readers.

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Our friends at ergoPouch are giving Mum Central readers 15% off ergoPouch products using code ‘SLEEPWEEK2018’ at checkout. Valid until Sunday, 18 March, 2018. Happy Sleep Week!

Avatar of Jenna Galley

Born and raised in Canada, Jenna now lives in Far North Queensland with her tribe. When the mum-of-three is not writing, you can find her floating in the pool, watching princess movies, frolicking on the beach, bouncing her baby to sleep or nagging her older kids to put on their pants.

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