The bedtime routine is something every parent struggles with at some point - you are not alone.
While every baby is different - it’s the ‘terrible twos’ that cause the most trouble for many parents. One thing is constant - if your toddler decides they want to stay up, they are going to try their best to do just that.
A recent survey of 2,000 parents, conducted by bathroom retailer Better Bathrooms, found that the average parent in the UK takes 90 minutes to get their child under three to sleep in the evenings.
22 minutes of this, on average, is spent reading a bedtime story. Yes, despite children’s books having deceptively large print, or being composed mainly of pictures, it seems children will fiendishly ask for the story to be read all over again from the start once it’s finished, or demand several to be read, one after the other.
The research found that the longest, most time-consuming part of the whole process, was a tie between story and bath time; parents agreed that the ostensibly simple matter of dunking their little terrors into a bath full of water, to sluice off the dirt they’d coated themselves in during the course of the day, took, well, ages. First there’s trying to persuade them to get in, then there’s trying to persuade them to come out, after they start playing with their rubber duckies, plastic action figures, Elsa dolls etc.
And 55 per cent of parents say they have missed out on their own dinner because of the time spent putting their child to bed.
It’s often a two-person job, too; 45 per cent of parents say that it takes both of them to get their child off to sleep, working like a well-oiled, if slightly ratty tag team. Is it any wonder, therefore, that 15 per cent of men, and 10 per cent of women have stayed late at the office just to avoid this fractious, somewhat tedious task?
Perhaps ill-advisedly, 14 per cent of all parents regularly (most if not every night) let their child sleep in their bed.
If any of this sounds familiar, at least you’re in good company. Perhaps one day you’ll look back on all this and smile.