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13 Easy Steps to Put Your Toddler to Bed

Photograph by Twenty20

Any parent of a toddler knows the struggle is real. These sassy little humans of ours put us through the ringer all the day long, and then comes nighttime. And we all know what that means... bedtime. The time of day toddler parents fear the most.

So, are you curious what it really looks like to put a toddler to bed? Read on…

1. It’s finally after dinner, and time to start the dreaded bedtime routine! Time to psych yourself up. You've got this!

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2. You give your toddler plenty of warning that we’re going to brush our teeth soon! 10 minutes! 9 minutes! 5 minutes! Okay, time to brush our teeth! Toddler runs as far away from you as humanly possible.

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3. You wrangle the toddler into the bathroom and say your “eee’s” “oooh’s” and “ahhh’s,” and are greeted instead with a tight-lipped child. There is no budging. You try with all of your might to force the toothbrush into his mouth. You get maybe two seconds worth of brushing, in which he eats all of the toothpaste and again, purses his lips. You figure, they’re only baby teeth, they’re going to fall out anyway, and let it go.

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4. Pajama time! You hold up the jammies and she proceeds to start giggling uncontrollably and running all over the house, singing at the top of her lungs. You instantly regret the candy you bribed her with at lunch.

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5. She insists on wearing her princess gown to bed. You oblige, because it’s better than the dirty clothes she wore all day, which was the other option.

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6. You read approximately 36 books, and then are asked to read the first one again. And again. And again. You begin to summarize. She figures you out and starts crying. You read the book again, all the way through. This goes on for 30 more minutes.

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7. It is now well past the slotted “bedtime,” but you decide enough is enough! You are the adult here! You are in control!

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8. Who are we kidding, you are so not in control. You turn the lights off and sing a lullaby and say a prayer in your head for her to please go to bed.

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9. You gently lie your toddler down, quietly leave the room and close the door behind you. Ahhh, a sigh of relief and... silence. You're feeling pretty good about yourself right now.

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10. Not five minutes later, you hear the little pitter patter of feet hitting the ground running to try to open the door. You pat yourself on the back for putting a lock on the outside of the door. He bangs on the door and yells, “Mama!!!!” about 50 times.

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11. You watch the monitor as your child completely tears apart his bedroom, plays with all of his toys and runs around for another hour or so. Who needs TV? This is way more entertaining.

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12. You wonder how bad it would be to revert back to the crib.

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13. She’s finally asleep, but now it’s time for you to go to bed, too. You decide you’ve earned just one episode of "Real Housewives." You pour yourself a glass of wine and call it a night… until you hear the pleas from your toddler for a glass of water. Sigh.

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