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    Posted on Sep 23, 2015

    This Is How Real Parents Get Their Kids To Sleep

    Bedtime is a battlefield.

    Hi, I'm Morgan. I'm a Senior Parenting Editor here at BuzzFeed Life, which is hilarious because in my real life as a mom I have no idea what I'm doing.

    Over the years, we've had our triumphs and our challenges with sleep, but right now is a particularly dark period. Come bedtime, this lady just won't shut down.


    To get a little help, I turned to the BuzzFeed Parents newsletter hoping to gain some wisdom from the success of other parents.

    Our subscribers are awesome, and had tons of practical advice.

    1. Create a bedtime check list.

    "We worked together as a family to create a check list of things to do before going to bed. We included our son's go-to stalls like getting a drink of water and saying goodnight to pets. Once everything is checked off, he knows it's time to go to sleep."

    - Submitted by OJ

    2. Let them read in bed.

    "A friend with older kids told me she lets them stay up as late as they want but only if they are reading in bed. My daughter can't even read yet but this already works!"

    - Submitted by Julie Fray

    3. Give them a coloring book.

    "Every night at bedtime we give our 4-year-old a blank notebook, some stickers, and a crayon. This allows her to quietly remain in bed, unwind, and do something she enjoys until she falls asleep. It works 90% of the time, plus we wake up to fun doodles!"

    - Submitted by Milena S.

    Photo via Life With Roozle

    4. Incentivize.

    "My daughter gets one book and one stuffed animal with her when she lays down each night. If she gets up, she will get the book taken away. If she gets up again, she loses her stuffed animal. She loves those two things so much she won't even risk getting out of bed."

    - Submitted by Chris P.

    5. Try melatonin.

    "I'm a huge proponent of melatonin as a gentle sleep aid. I have an autistic, ADHD son and it really helps him get to sleep."

    - Submitted by Kristina Pace

    *Be sure to check with your pediatrician for dosing and safety information.

    6. Bring in the lavender.

    "When my daughter has trouble calming down for bed, we put lavender essential oil on her feet, cuddle, and read a book. She's always out before the book is finished."

    - Submitted by Sarah McHenry

    7. Get them a nighttime blanket.

    "We got our son a special blanket that he only uses at bedtime. He gets excited to go to bed and snuggle up with it."

    - Submitted by Marilyn Renae

    8. Work towards a goal.

    "When my daughter had trouble with bedtime we instituted a reward system. She'd get a sticker for every night she went to bed without a fuss, and every five stickers she'd get a prize. If she steps out of line, all it takes now is us warning 'no sticker' to get her back on track."

    - Submitted by Paige Connell


    9. Try a sound machine.

    "Since the day my son was born, we've used a white noise machine, and it works wonders to calm him down. He falls asleep wherever we are."

    - Submitted by Sabrina F.

    10. Teach them to self soothe.

    "Our kids get tucked in once, and if they get up, they don't get tucked in again. If they cry, so be it. They have to learn self soothing at some point."

    - Submitted by Veronica Leal

    11. Start a countdown.

    "About ten minutes before bedtime, we start our countdown. Getting fair warning and a chance to finish what he's doing has helped make bed time a lot less frantic for my son."

    - Submitted by Ziva


    12. No screens before bed.

    "Our daughter started going to sleep with much less hassle once we decided to cut electronics before bedtime."

    - Submitted by HLS

    13. If all else fails...

    "Out of everything my wife and I have tried, teaching our 5 year-old that the boogeyman gets kids who aren't trying to go to sleep has been our most successful tactic. It works better than you think."

    - Submitted by George Finley

    Get this free printable HERE.

    Thanks fellow parents!

    Submissions have been edited for length and clarity.

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