Handling Bedtime Procrastination


Procrastination before bedtime? Are you one of the millions of parents who deal with your child procrastinating before bedtime? How do you handle it? Are you interested in trying a solution that worked for my husband and I?

Our daughter is five. Bed time procrastination is a very challenging task to get through in our household. At dinner we make sure she has enough to eat, not getting down from the table until she has finished the portion of food we would like her to eat. She has had a drink of water. She has had a shower or a bath so she feels nice and clean. I know at night time after my shower or bath I am ready to lay my head on the pillow and will be out like a light.

Back to the bedtime procrastinator. She has went to the bathroom. So at that point, she is not hungry, not thirsty, feeling squeaky clean and does not need to use the restroom. She goes into her room, lays down. Five minutes later she is out of her room, in the fridge saying she is hungry. We allow her to have a few pieces of fruit or vegetables if she says she is still hungry.

She goes into her room, lays down. Five minutes later she is back in the kitchen, with the fridge open, now saying she is thirsty. She is allowed to get another SIP of water, to quench her thirst that has prevented her to fall asleep. She goes in her room, lays down. Five minutes later, she is saying she is itchy and needs to get back into the bathtub. She agrees that putting different jammies on will help the itching go away. She goes back in her room, lays down. Five minutes later, she is in the bathroom acting like she is using the restroom.

Does any of this sound familiar? Bed time procrastination was a big challenge to overcome in our household, until we put a stop to it ALL. What did we do that worked for curing bedtime procrastination, you may be wondering?

Every time she would get out of bed after she was tucked in, she would loose something. She prefers to have a night light on in her room and also the hall light on to add a little extra light. If she would get out of bed after being tucked in, first she would loose the hall light. Get out of bed again, next she would loose the night light in her room. Now it is pitch black in her room.

If she would get out of bed after that and make it through the doorway with no light to see, she would start loosing privileges to play with her favorite toys the next day. Taking the hall light and night light aways didn’t seem to upset her and make her realize mommy and daddy were no longer playing games anymore. Taking away her toys is the solution that we found to work best for us!


  1. My husband and I always deal with our children procrastinating before bedtime!! I’ll keep these very good tips to solve my problem!

  2. Oh he makes me so mad when he does that at bedtime!

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