20 Unexpected Ways Bedtime Can Go Wrong

If there is one battle that parents often deal with at the end of each and every day, it’s putting their kids to bed on time. In fact, it doesn’t matter what age a child is. Regardless if they are still toddlers or if they are much older kids who are about to start middle and high school, getting the kids into bed and making sure that they have enough rest always remains difficult. In other words, the struggle is real. It should get better, but oftentimes it doesn’t.

Thankfully, there are some moms and dads who have successfully managed to break the barrier and get their children to sleep, with as little frustration, headaches and pain as possible. How so, you say? Well, let’s be honest. Nothing really works in a toddler’s world unless you add a little bribery, leverage, or maybe even magical fairy dust to make it all happen. That, or you just let them run loose until midnight and hope for the best.

With that being said, here are 20 unexpected ways that bedtime can go wrong. Have you made any of these similar mistakes? Take a look at our stories below (some would call it horror stories) and let us know what you think!

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20 Late Bedtime Routine

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Unfortunately, if you allow your toddler to roam the hallways of your home during all hours of the night and go to bed whenever he or she feels like it, you might be setting yourself up for disaster. And the worst part is, you’re actually allowing them to dip into your own “me and free time” at night, too. One mom named Noelle shared on Facebook, “We let our toddler run crazy until 11 or midnight every night. It was a huge mistake. My husband and I never get any Netflix and chill time, if you know what I’m talking about. We have to wait until he goes to bed.”

19 Resorting to Bribery

For a lot of parents, the only way that they can get their kids to go to bed on time is if they use a little bribery. After all, almost every parent is guilty of using a little leverage to get their way. But this is a plan that can easily backfire on you, too. One dad named Alex said on Facebook, “Each night we would give our son a chocolate chip cookie before going to bed, with hopes that he will stay in bed and fall asleep. It worked up until my wife accidentally bought kitchen sink cookies instead of his regular chocolate chip cookies. Not only did he refuse to fall asleep, but we also witnessed the worst meltdown from him ever.”

18 Sharing A Room

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Now, this is something that a lot of couples simply can’t avoid, but when there’s very little room to wiggle at home, you might find yourself having to share your bedroom with your toddler. And if there are family members with different set bedtimes, no one ends up going to bed on time. One mom said on Facebook, “My husband works late and when he comes home, he has this awful habit of turning on the lights without realizing it. Each time he turns on the bedroom lights, our 18-month-old wakes up. It takes him forever and a day to fall back asleep again.”

17 Falling Asleep With Them

For a lot of parents, an easy solution might seem to just get into bed, lay down next to your toddler and pretend that you are falling asleep so he or she could fall asleep right next to you, right? Well, wrong. Dad Jack once again says, “We did that for years, but the moment I would try and get out of bed and leave the room, my son would wake up. It was exhausting trying to find different ways to escape his room while he was soundly sleeping. Sometimes it worked, sometimes it didn’t. It was never easy.”

16 Late Evening Naps


Getting your child on a good napping schedule isn’t always easy. That’s because you have to time their naps precisely – they can’t be too early and they certainly can’t be too late. If you have a toddler who is napping right before dinner, you might be in trouble. This dad says on Facebook, “No matter how hard we tried, our kid would snooze right after dinner, which was about six or 6:30 pm. And as a result, he would wake up at the crack of dawn, if not earlier, demanding to watch Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. For him to remain asleep past 6 am felt like a miracle.”

15 Dealing with a Jetlagged Baby

If you are traveling with a baby or have small toddlers, don’t think that it will be easy for them to get used to their new time zone. At least, not right away. Jet lag is hard on adults and even worse on kids. One father named Jack said, “I had a business trip to Osaka and took the family with me. The first day, everyone managed to stay up until 3 pm. What was supposed to be a small, little nap turned out to be eight hours of shut-eye for everyone. The entire family woke up at 11 pm totally refreshed in the hotel room and with absolutely nothing to do.”

14 Too Much Milk And Cookies Before Bed

While a lot of parents like to give milk and cookies as a little evening snack or treat before bed, this can easily backfire on them. Parents will often end up having at least one child on a sugar high right before bed. Mom Suzanne writes, “I learned the hard way that milk and cookies before bed are never a good idea. Sure, the milk is supposed to help make them fall asleep, but a line of Oreo cookies makes them wide awake. Before you know it, they are using their toddler bed as a Cirque du Soleil trampoline. It’s tragic.”

13 Hyped Up Over A Bedtime Movie

A lot of parents like to give their children a little special treat before bedtime by letting them watch a movie. But if you have a toddler with an inquisitive mind, be prepared for an onslaught of questions. Father-of-two Jack said on Facebook, “I didn’t realize that my son would over analyze every detail of Zootopia after we watched it together. He kept on asking me the same questions, wanting to know why the such and such character said this, did this, and so on. He did this for at least 45 minutes after the movie. Nevertheless, we were both mentally exhausted over it.”

12 The Never-Ending Bedtime Story

If you thought that watching a movie before bedtime was bad, try reading your child’s favorite bedtime story. But here’s the kicker: the challenge is that you only read it once. This mom said on Facebook, “Several years ago my children were obsessed with the Charlie and Lola book series. They were so obsessed with it that they insisted I read some of the books several times over. Because I had two children that were only a year apart, they were very convincing together. How can you say no to two book-loving children? They got me each and every time.”

11 Mom Is Here... But He Wants Dad

We’re not going to lie to you. Yes, kids can be picky. They can be picky about their food, the clothes they wear, and the places they go. They can also be very picking about their parents. “Several years ago my husband would work late night shifts but my daughter insisted that he be the one to tuck her into bed every night,” says one tired mom named Jo. “No matter what I said, or how hard I tried, she won. She’d stay up late and waited for her father to come home and then went to bed after he tucked her in.”

10 Dad Is Here... But He Wants Mom

Via Entertainment Tonight

But don’t think that kids only play favorites with one parent. Sometimes they just want the opposite parent, just for the sake of being difficult. If things didn’t work out that way, life would be too easy, right? When dad is around, your child wants mom. When mom is around, your child wants dad. It’s almost like wanting vanilla ice cream when the grocery store is already closed and all you have in the fridge is chocolate. And your child refuses to eat the chocolate, no matter how many chips and chunks might be in it. We’re sure you get our drift.

9 Asking Too Many Questions About Everything

If you have a future scientist in the family, that’s great news, right? But if you have a child who insists on asking pressing questions about the universe at 10 pm at night, that’s not so great. It seems like throughout the day your toddler might be truly saving the best for last. This mom said on Facebook, “One day my toddler insisted on asking about how electricity works by turning on the lights and turning off the lights over and over again. It was really eating at my patience, but that’s when I explained the fundamental laws of physics until he finally fell asleep on his own.”

8 Too Excited About Tomorrow's Breakfast

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We all love food, don’t we? And even though toddlers tend to be the pickiest eaters on the planet, they love to think about their future meals too, especially after they get tucked into bed. This dad said on Facebook, “One year my daughter insisted on making me a breakfast order, hotel room menu style every night before she went to bed and would hang it on her doorknob. And she wouldn’t go to bed until it was completely finished, colored, and even one time, laminated. It’s great that she’s detail-oriented, but it kept her up past her bedtime.”

7 Grandma Messes Up the Nightly Routine

Here’s a pet peeve that a lot of parents share: when the grandparents mess up your children’s nightly routine. Because it’s always so easy to blame the grandparents for everything, right? This grandmother, who wishes to remain anonymous, said on Facebook, “What goes on in grandma’s house, stay in grandma’s house. I’m not saying that it’s worse than Las Vegas around here, but if my daughter-in-law ever found out some of the things we’ve done in the past, let’s just say these weekend trips would be over. But who am I kidding, the kids have a lot of fun making and creating memories with me.”

6 ... And You Have To Fix It

Having grandparents who live close by is very convenient and often times a whole lot of fun, but there has to be at least one person who has to reinstate all the rules that grandma and grandpa have broken: mom. This mom said on Facebook, “You have no idea how long it took for me to get my kids to go back to bed at a decent time after they spend a weekend at their grandparents. By the time they come home, they are overtired, grumpy, and coming off their sugar highs. It’s a real mess and one that gets me infuriated each and every time.”

5 The Dreaded iPad Before Bedtime

One of the biggest and most classic mistakes that any parent can make is giving their child an electronic screen right before bedtime. Most scientists can agree that the blue light that is emitted from a screen makes it harder for a child to “shut off” and go to bed, in more ways than one. This dad says, “We can confess to being dumb. For years we would use the iPad as an electronic babysitter, especially before bedtime. But my kids would never go to sleep. Mostly because the screens would keep them up, and second because they would get angry and agitated whenever we took it away from them.”

4 Using Television As A Sleeping Aid

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Of course, iPads aren’t the only problem that parents have to deal with. The dreaded television makes things worse, too. When mom named Agata said on Facebook, “When my son was a small kid, I would let him fall asleep in front of a television that was turned on every night. He’s now 18 and he can’t fall asleep no matter where he is without a television on in the background. I’m afraid I might have done some long-term damage in his sleep routine. As much as he tries, he needs a television on before going to bed because he’s been doing it for years.”

3 Or A Sound Machine

Yes, sound machines can either help someone go to bed at night, or it can keep them up during all hours, too. Just ask mom Rachel, who bought one when her firstborn was still a newborn, said, “I got all of these funky gadgets and devices during my baby shower. I also got a sound machine that sounded like a lullaby. My baby loved it, but he also would never fall asleep with it on, but insisted that it stay on while he was in his crib. Whenever we tried to take it away, he cried. It was a lose-lose situation for us.”

2 Can't Find Mr. Fluffy

As many parents can tell you, kids can be very possessive, if not also very materialistic. If they have a favorite stuffed animal, you can bet your bottom dollar that he or she will not fall asleep until it’s safely tucked in his or her arms. “We once lost my son’s Mr. Fluffy on a Southwest flight before a family vacation,” this one disgruntled dad said on Facebook. He added, “It turned out to be no vacation because our kid cried every single day. That thing was lost and all he wanted was the original. It was a beach getaway that turned into a hellish nightmare.”

1 Not Setting Rules From The Get-Go

Parents from all across the globe can agree: not setting rules from the get-go can turn into a huge disaster for both you, your child and your entire family. If you want your child to fall asleep at his or her designated bedtime, you have to enforce your rules from the very start. Mother-of-three and pre-school teacher Diana says, “You won’t believe how many kids I see that are sleep deprived every morning. Kids need at least 11 hours of sleep every night. Rules have to be set. Otherwise, it will affect the rest of their day, their well-being and their happiness.”

Reference: Facebook

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