Creative Ways in which My Daughter Tries to Delay Bedtime


Even though my daughter is a good sleeper, it doesn’t mean that she LOVES the idea of going to bed.  She’s probably thinking… why go to bed when there’s so much fun to be had with her toys and with Mommy and Daddy, right?  It’s funny how children hate the idea of sleep and we, as parents, would do almost anything to get more of it!

So, I decided to write a fun post this week about creative ways in which my daughter tries to delay bedtime to stay up just a few more minutes.  I’m sure anyone with a child (or even babysitting experience) can relate, but I hope you get a good laugh out of this because my daughter makes me laugh all the time.  I have a smile on my face now as I’m thinking about these things.


~We start our bedtime routine~


  • Either my husband or I sit down with her and read her a book.

Creative Attempt # 1

“One More” – she says this after we’re done reading the book.  One is pronounced more like ‘Un’ and she says this as she holds up her index finger and bounces it up and down in the air.  She has such sweet innocence in those eyes .  It is pretty irresistible and she would probably continue to do that after each book until morning if I let her! 


  • I say “Ok, one more book, but let’s read it on the potty”.  She’s potty training and doing great!  She still wears a diaper at night, but I like her to go to the bathroom right before bed if possible.

Creative Attempt # 2

After potty and before I can put a diaper and pj’s on, she makes a mad dash out of the bathroom in the opposite direction of us both.  She usually grabs a toy on the way and finds a nice spot to stop, just out of site.  She then proceeds to look very busy playing… probably thinking that we won’t interrupt.


  • We scoop her up and explain that she can play with that toy while we get her changed in the other room.  We get a diaper and pajamas on.

Creative Attempt # 3

Just as the pants/shorts are being pulled up over the diaper she says “Pee” or “Poo”!  If she didn’t go before, we undress her, take her diaper off and give it another try.  I mean, I hate to have her lay in a dirty diaper all night.  I know it’s going to happen eventually, but I don’t want her to start the night off wet… and she knows this, lol.  However, if she did go before, I know it’s just a ploy and I tell her that she’ll have to just go in her diaper.  She hardly ever poops over night in the diaper.  Proof that she was just using it as a stall tactic.


  • We scoop her up again and help her brush her teeth.  We then say “Good-Night” to pictures of family members and to some of her stuffed animals as we carry her to her room.

Creative Attempt # 4

She cries out “milk” (sounds like ‘me you’) and reaches her arms out like a fairy is going to drop milk in her hands per her request.


  • We explain that we’ve already brushed her teeth… that and we don’t want her to pee pee the bed.  We sometimes offer a little water, but she doesn’t want plain water so she gives up easily.
  • She gives Daddy hugs and kisses, then her and I continue on to her bedroom.

Creative Attempt # 5

Once we make it to her room and I give her hugs and kisses she’ll say “one more Daddy”.  I’ve fallen for this one a few times thinking it’s so cute, especially if Daddy has been working long hours and hasn’t had much time with her.  The truth though… most times she doesn’t even want the extra hug and kiss and just stays still once she sees him again.  The little faker, lol.


  • I finally place her in her crib.  I place a crochet blanket over her, give her a stuffed animal, turn on her bear which plays music, and kiss her good night.

Creative Attempt # 6

She jumps back up like a jack-in-the-box!  She’s now standing in her crib, and says “one more Mommy” as she reaches her arms up in the air towards me, signaling that she wants me to pick her back up. 


  • I love this part because this is the time that she gives me the best hug ever!  She wraps her arms and legs around me, puts her head on my shoulder and squeezes… even though I know it’s partially another attempt at delaying bedtime, we both just enjoy the moment.  I then put her back down to sleep



She then talks to herself until she eventually falls asleep.  We’ll see how things pan out once she’s in a toddler bed and can simply climb back out of bed, but for now once she’s in… she’s in.

It’s amazing how quickly children start these little tricks.  They are so smart at such a young age!  I hope you enjoyed my article and got a few laughs.  She doesn’t really do all of these tricks every night, but she’ll usually try about 3 or 4 of them to see what she can get away with.

I know she’s not the only toddler who does this… please share what your creative little ones try in order to stay up just a few more minutes.

16 comments on “Creative Ways in which My Daughter Tries to Delay Bedtime


    Mine were like that and then they got a bit older and it got worse. The excuses they come up with multiply and also they don’t need so much sleep naturally so you lose your entire evening to a chorus of I’ve got tummy ache/ my foot hurts/I’m thirsty/I need a poo/the planes are keeping me awake and suchlike. The joys of parenting eh?!

    • Kristy

      Oh boy, lots to look forward to! I’ll enjoy it now while it’s still cute. 🙂

  2. Cedric

    Excellent. I have to bookmark this post so that I can share with my fiancé and probably run to it from time to time for inspiration until I master the different approach listed below to put a baby to sleep. Putting a baby to bed when he/she doesn’t want it is one of the most difficult and frustrating responsibility for a parent. Thank you krispix for this post.

    • Kristy

      I know the process can be difficult and frustrating and I hope my website can help with that. If you only take one piece of advice from my site, it’s to create a routine and stick to it. Your baby will adjust and actually get used to it… making your life a whole lot easier.

      Check out my ‘inspirational quotes’ as well when you need your spirits lifted.

  3. marcy

    Hello Krispix,

    From the very start of reading your article there was already smile created on my face after I read the title. Because I experienced it also many times trying to convince my son to go to bed when he was a toddler. Sweet memories!!! It will take an hour maybe before the final attempt will be a success. In your article I saw you are a sweet mother with a lot of patience, that all mother or parents should be too. Keep it up! I’ll be reading more of your articles, can’t wait for the interesting one like this.


    • Kristy

      I’m glad I was able to put a smile on your face Marcy – goal accomplished!!

      Thank you also for the kind words and for checking out other articles on my site. More to come!

  4. Jason

    This sounds all too familiar ha. I have two very young daughters and this is very accurate. Made me laugh even thanks. It can be frustrating at the time when all you want to do is lie down yourself, but this made me think of it more from a child’s point of view. Thank you for the great article!

    • Kristy

      Thanks for the comment Jason, I’m glad you can relate and laugh with me about it. It’s always easier to laugh after the fact… when looking back 🙂

  5. Yes good. Enjoy the moment. She will grow up so fast, before you know it.

    • Kristy

      I’m trying Betty, it’s amazing how much she has already grown. It’s exciting and scary all at the same time!! Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment. Have a great day.

  6. Simone

    Kids can be so creative. I was lucky with my daughter. She is 8 now and still loves her sleep. She never really tried coming up with creative way to delay bedtime. In fact, when she was around 2, she would initiate bedtime before we thought she was even ready for bed. She would say “go to sleep now” at around 6:15pm. Here bedtime was between 6:45 and 7.

    My son on the other hand is a different story. He is 6 now and is still trying to postpone bedtime and he is an early riser. Luckily now he is at the age where he understands things and I have started talking to him about the importance of sleep and how it helps his body and brain grow!

    • Kristy

      Children are creative indeed. It’s definitely funny when she tries something new. It’s great that her mind is working and she’s thinking about what else she can do, but at the same time there is an end goal and we have to be consistent with getting them there. You were very fortunate with your daughter! Thanks for sharing Simone. 🙂

  7. Sue C

    Hi Kristy,
    This was one of the best ‘bedtime routine’ reads ever! I really appreciated the sense of love, humor and positivity that shines through 🙂

    I do agree with you about routines. My two children were much happier ‘trying it on’ from within the boundaries of a secure routine. They seemed far happier to ‘give in’ eventually, knowing that it was the right thing to do.

    Enjoy every minute, it’s so precious!

    • Kristy

      Thanks Sue, I really appreciate it!

  8. Melanie

    I enjoyed reading your article. I have a 4 year old son and I can totally relate. Not matter how tired he is, he will find any excuse not to go to bed. just last night he kept coming out f his room saying he cant sleep, but the funniest thing was he was yawning as he was saying that. I agree these kids are so smart and its amazing at such an age they can come up with so many ways to delay bed time.

    • Kristy

      LOL, yep… they can be totally exhausted yet still say “i’m not tired”. I’m glad you enjoyed the article and I hope you find others helpful. My most recent post talks about preschoolers that no longer want to nap. Thanks for taking the time to post, Melanie.

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