There's a nanny site that loves to make lists--1o best ways to entertain a child waiting on line; 10 best things to do in the summer. There's now a six best tips on getting grandkids to bed. The focus is on the wee ones and most of the tips have to do with establishing a solid routine. But there are one or two that might help those of us who've chosen to help out a grown child by taking on a babysitting gig for a Grand or two. Despite elaborate instructions from the parents, we may struggle to get the little kids down and out for the night.
The two "best tips" I found relevant are these:
"Keep kids well rested during the day." While it's up to parents to set up a nap routine, we grandparents should factor in this reality: overtired children are much harder to put to bed at night. The nanny tip line implies that skipping nap time is not going to help get the kids to bed earlier or easier. "Depriving your child of needed daytime sleep will typically make nighttime sleep worse, not better."
"Avoid stimulating activities before bed." When we're babysitting a Grand it's lots of fun to make them laugh hard and run around a lot. But it won't help if the roughhousing and wrestling take place too close to bedtime. The nanny tip line says: "When active playtime happens right before bed, children can get wound up and calming them down becomes problematic. For nighttime family fun, consider playing a quiet board game or reading a book."
On that latter point, there's nothing like a little Winnie the Pooh as bedtime nears. Christopher Robin has a talent for unwinding.