Menu

A toddler’s guide to bedtime stalling—in 30 steps

STEP 20: If you see your parent backing away slowly out the door, you have one option only. “Waaaaaaaaater!!!!!!”

A toddler’s guide to
bedtime stalling—in 30 steps

Ilana Wiles is the geniusbehind the unwaveringly hilarious Mommy Shorts and the author of the upcomingbook, The Mommy Shorts Guide to RemarkablyAverage Parenting. She writes about her remarkably average parenting experienceswith her two daughters, Harlow and Mazzy, and all we can do is nod our heads inagreement.


Between wiping away tearsand gasping for breath from laughing so much, we felt the need to share aninsightful excerpt from her book. We think it will shed some light on the innergoings on of little ones around the world during that infamous hour of the day:bedtime.

Mazzy and Harlow may have both been successfullysleep-trained as babies, but as they became toddlers, they each becameincredibly advanced in the art of “bedtime stalling." This is the process ofprolonging the bedtime routine by any means possible.

It goes a little something like this . . .

STEP 1: Make it as hard as possible for your parents tochange you into your pajamas. This can be accomplished by running around thehouse at full speed and stopping for no one.

STEP 2: Hide.

STEP 3: When they finally catch you, scream, “Noooooooooo!!!!!!!"and kick your body out in every direction.

STEP 4: Cling to thefloor.

STEP 5: Go limp and make yourself as heavy to pick up aspossible.

STEP 6: Break free and run into the kitchen, screaming thatyou're hungry. This works best if you barely ate dinner and your parents fearyou will wake up starving at three a.m.

STEP 7: If your parents refuse to open the fridge, ask for abanana. Only the cruelest parent can turn down a toddler's bedtime bananarequest.

STEP 8: Refer back to “rules for eating a banana" in the previous chapter.

STEP 9: When you have finished eating, don't tell anyone.Wait until they discover you have finished.

STEP 10: Brush your teeth. Spit in the sink. Resumebrushing. Keep repeating until someone tells you to hurry up.

STEP 11: Become fascinated with running water and wash yourhands for as long as possible.

STEP 12: Become fascinated with towels and dry your handsfor as long as possible.

STEP 13: When your parents aren't looking, hide yourblankie. Then say you can't go to bed without it.

STEP 14: Take a long time selecting your bedtime book. Whenyou finally select your book, make sure it is the longest one on the shelf. Don't let your parent trick you by skippingpages.

STEP 15: When your parent is finished reading your book, begthem to read it again.

STEP 16: When your parent is finished reading the bookagain, ask for another book.

STEP 17: Suddenly claim a need to pee in the potty, even if(especially if) you have neversuccessfully used the potty before.

STEP 18: Sit on the potty doing absolutely nothing untilsomeone tells you it's time to get up.

STEP 19: After you have been tucked in, complain aboutsomething really vague. Example: “It hurts! That thing!" Grunt and squirm foreffect while your parent attempts to “fix it."

STEP 20: If you see your parent backing away slowly out thedoor, you have one option only. “Waaaaaaaaater!!!!!!"

STEP 21: “Not that cup, the other cup!!!!!"

STEP 22: Ask for a Band-Aid. Actual boo-boo is unnecessary.

STEP 23: Once your parent returns with a Band-Aid, tell themyou need a different Band-Aid. For instance, if your parent brings you a Jakeand the Never Land Pirates Band-Aid, say you want a Frozen Band-Aid.

STEP 24: Once you have taken the Band-Aid situation as faras you can, ask your parent to sit in the room with you.

STEP 25: If your parent folds, HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!! Milkthese moments for as long as possible.

STEP 26: If you are still not ready to accept theinevitable, reach down inside yourself, dig as deep as you can, and do something amazing. Speak in fullsentences, sing the alphabet, count to twenty—anything your parents have beentrying and failing to film throughout the day can work.

STEP 27: Once you have run out of material, give a heartfelt“I love you." It's very hard for parents to walk out the door when they arefinally getting the adoration they feel they deserve.

STEP 28: At this point, your parent probably feels it issafe to walk out. It's time to start crying.

STEP 29: You have one last card up your sleeve. “Kiss andhuuuuuuug!!!!!"

STEP 30: Hold on for as long and as tightly as possible.

They say necessity is the mother of invention—and nothing makes you more inventive than motherhood.

Sometimes that means fashioning a diaper out of paper towels and your older child's underpants (true story). Sometimes that means creating an innovative and life-changing weighted baby sleep sack and totally crushing it on Shark Tank. Tara Williams is the latter.

Keep reading Show less
Shop

5 brilliant products that encourage toddler independence

Help your little one help themselves.

One of our main goals as mothers is to encourage our children to learn, grow and play. They start out as our tiny, adorable babies who need us for everything, and somehow, before you know it, they grow into toddlers with ideas and opinions and desires of their own.

You may be hearing a lot more of "I do it!" or maybe they're pushing your hand away as a signal to let you know, I don't need your help, Mama. That's okay. They're just telling you they're ready for more independence. They want to be in charge of their bodies, and any little bit of control their lives and abilities allow.

So, instead of challenging your toddler's desire for autonomy, we found five of our favorite products to help encourage independence—and eliminate frustration in the process.

EKOBO Bamboo 4-piece kid set

EKOBO bamboo 4-piece kid set

This colorful set includes a plate, cup, bowl and spoon and is just right for your child's meal experience. Keep them in an easy-to-reach cabinet so they'll feel encouraged (and excited!) to get their own place setting each time they eat.

$25

Puj PhillUp hangable kids cups

Puj PhillUp hangable kids cups

Before you know it, your little one will be asking (okay, maybe demanding) to fill their own water cups. This amazing 4-pack of cups attaches directly to the fridge (or any glass, metal, tile or fiberglass surface) making it easier for your child to grab a cup themselves. Just be sure a water pitcher or dispenser is nearby, and—boom!—one task off your plate.

$29

Wise Elk puzzle tower blocks

Wise Elk puzzle tower blocks

These beautiful blocks, made from sustainably-sourced wood and water-based, non-toxic, lead-free paint, will keep your little one focused on their creation while they're also busy working on their fine-motor skills. The puzzle design will encourage patience as your kiddo creates their own building, fitting one block in after the next.

$18

Lorena Canals basket

Lorena Canals Basket

This *gorgeous* braided cotton basket is the perfect, accessible home for their blocks (and whatever else you want to hide away!) so your kiddo can grab them (and clean them up) whenever their heart desires.

$29

BABYBJÖRN step stool

BABYBJ\u00d6RN Step Stool

Your kiddo might be ready to take on the world, but they might need an extra boost to do so—cue, a step stool! An easy-to-move lightweight stool is the must-have confidence-boosting tool you need in your home so your growing tot can reach, well... the world.

$20

We independently select and share the products we love—and may receive a commission if you choose to buy. You've got this.

Shop

Two weeks. I cannot believe that it has been two weeks since my second son was brought into this world. Two weeks since my husband and I welcomed baby Simon, the final piece of our little family.

But, here is the whopper: It has been two weeks since I have been the mom of a toddler and a newborn. I am now responsible for taking care of two tiny humans.

It absolutely blows my mind how much my life has changed in the last two weeks. It's definitely not all rainbows and unicorns around here, but things are going pretty well. This is me being cautiously optimistic.

What I have done is learned a lot about myself, my kids and my new life in the last two weeks.

Keep reading Show less
Life