Bedtime excuses – inventive children and how to combat sleep

Bedtime routines can often prove more difficult as your little ones grow older, and more inventive. A study into bedtime routines of 1000 parents with children aged between 3 and 12 years, found that 77% felt ‘exhausted’ after battles and efforts to get their children to bed. The study also found that on average, it takes 25 minutes per day for parents to get their little ones into bed. In a bid to delay bedtime, children will often come up with a few excuses each night as to why they can’t go to bed yet.

Here's a collection of the top 10 excuses children will use to delay their bedtime:

  1. Saying they aren’t tired yet.
  2. Saying they are hungry.
  3. They need to go to the toilet.
  4. Asking for another story.
  5. Saying they need a drink.
  6. Saying they are too hot or too cold.
  7. Wanting to share everything with you about their day suddenly.
  8. Wanting the rest of the household to come and say goodnight to them.
  9. Needing to find a certain toy.
  10. Saying it’s too light outside.


Creative ways to combat excuses

  • To combat sleep, first make sure that you address all potential issues before you tuck your little one up in bed. Whilst this will not guarantee that they won’t come up with something else, all bases will be covered.
  • Try to also spend some quality time with your little one before bedtime, whether this is reading them a story, playing a game, or some crafts, try to satisfy their needs of that additional 1:1 time.
  • Stick to a constant bedtime routine – read our top tips for this here!
  • Be boring – if your little one keeps getting out of bed, make sure that they see you with a book or a cup of tea, rather than doing activities that they may enjoy such as watching the television. This will show them that getting out of bed is no fun!
  • If you are still struggling, give your child one ‘free pass’. By agreeing to one of their excuses if they are adamant that they cannot go to sleep yet will give them back a sense of control. Be sure to remember which excuse they used and do your best not to give in to them a second time!