Prevent, prevent, prevent
We keep a pretty regular routine with an early bedtime and scheduled nap time each day. We’ve found that sleep really does beget sleep. We make exceptions of course (especially as she gets a little bit older), but sleep is a huge priority at our house. Preventing an overtired kiddo makes everyone happier and healthier.
Don’t bother with reason
My daughter has responded relatively well from a young age to talking things out. But if she’s overtired? Forget about it. No amount of talking will calm her down from a meltdown induced by a lack of sleep.
Confession. If we made a rare exception and are getting back super late, I’ve been known to skip brushing our daughter’s teeth to get her into bed more quickly. I figure it’s not worth the inevitable teeth brushing meltdown that will likely result in very little plaque being removed anyway.
There’s nothing worse than someone being snippy with you when you’re overtired. Overtired children tend to be whiney, grumpy and difficult. It’s our job as their parents to show extra compassion with kind words, lots of hugs and a bed as soon as possible.
What tips do you have for handling overtired little ones?