What could I do to make bedtime less stressful?

Q: My daughter is 18-months-old with a very scheduled routine and no matter what time I put her to bed she screams bloody murder for 15-30 mins every night. I took her to the doctor and nothing is wrong. I feel like I have tried everything. What can I do? Any suggestions?

A: First of all, some children do cry every night at bedtime, no matter what.  It’s almost as if it’s their last gasp before conking out for the night.  However, 15 to 30 minutes of crying seems like a long time for it to be just a final protest.  First of all, she may be going to bed too late.  If your little one is overtired, she is going to have a hard time settling down.  So be sure that she is going to bed early, possibly even as early as 7:00.  Second, be sure that you are totally consistent in how you respond to her crying every night.  If sometimes you go in and calm her down, it can prolong the protesting.  So it’s best to give a hug and kiss good night, and let her know that you’ll see her in the morning.

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