Anyone else feel like every age and stage brings a new set of hurdles in the sleep department? Even for parents who sleep trained early, toddler- and childhood can bring a whole new host of bedtime issues, from nightmares to power struggles to tiny people climbing into bed with you at 3 a.m. But according to the experts, there’s one phrase you definitely don’t want to say if you want to keep the evening moving: “Go to bed!”
According to Ali Lazar, a certified child sleep consultant at Goodnight Sleep Site, “go to bed” is the equivalent of rushing your child at the exact moment they’re saying they need to slow down.
“Your child’s requests—say, for one more bedtime snack—are bids for attention,” she explains. “Bedtime is a time of separation anxiety for kids and often times we’re moving too fast. Parents feel like, wow, this routine is ticking on too long, impeding on our time to watch Netflix or get work done, but kids feel that energy and grip onto us even more.”
And that’s when we might let out an exasperated “go to bed,” only to extend the power struggle and prolong the whole ordeal.