This post was inspired partly through my own challenges of getting my toddler to sleep since moving him to a ‘big boy bed’ and party because I saw another Mum on Facebook write “I just want him to go the fuck to sleep’. And let’s be honest who hasn’t ever thought this before in their life?

If you haven’t read it I highly recommend the ‘Go the Fuck to Sleep’ book it is hilarious!

Stalling bedtime or prolonging bed time is something most toddlers (most definitely my two year old) are skilled at.¬†They aren’t taught this skill, oh no, they are master manipulators and know EXACTLY what they need to do to stay up longer. This is a natural instinct of kids and toddlers.

I asked a few of my Mummy friends what they thought were the best stalling tactics from their kids.

So from other mothers to you, here is a list of the most effective stalling techniques that you toddler might try on a night basis.

Fighting the pyjamas

You know the bedtime routine has started when it is time to put pyjamas on. More often than not this results in my toddler taking off on me and running around the house naked.

Even when I do catch him he then wiggles around so much that getting clothes on his body is near impossible. I have had to have my husband hold son down whilst I dress just so we could get clothes on him. And don’t even begin with the nappy!

I’m hungry or thirsty

My toddler is the master of this. This was probably the most popular from all the Mums’ asked.

Kids have perfected the ‘I’m hungry or ‘I’m thirsty routine’. It is probably one of the most common techniques your child will use on a nightly basis.

In particular because he is such a fussy eater during they day, that I can’t say no to him when he says he is hungry at night. It is a toss up between whether I don’t allow the food eating and make him go to bed. Or I let him eat now and prevent a 3am hunger wake up call. Usually I give in on the food before bedtime.

Once food is out of the way it’s time to ask for a drink and usually more than one!

I need a toy

The ‘I need to get a toy’ is a great way for kids to stall at bedtime, in particular if they choose a toy that is at the bottom of toy box. They get to delay bedtime while they rummage around trying to find it. Or even better sending Mummy or Daddy on a toy hunting mission.

Even better when they ask for one toy then you actually get the wrong one.

Asking for more

Your toddler will never stop asking for more when it comes to bed time. It is the perfect stalling technique and usually asked in the most polite voice ever so you find it extremely hard to say no.

‘Mummy, can I have some more milk’ or ‘One more book’ are common things. Not matter how many times you say we will just read one book, they will always ask for more!

Toddlers are all smart enough to know that choosing a really big book is much better than a small book. The small books would mean they are in bed a little quicker. Thick books take so  much longer and delay bedtime by at least another 5 minutes!

I need a cuddle or a kiss

This is the biggest manipulator of all, because who can say NO to one more kiss or cuddle from their child? Talk about emotional black mail!

Let’s Talk

This is usually once they are tucked up in bed and in fact this is the most popular tactic for my nearly 6 year old son. Once they are tucked up in bed, they use this situation to talk to you about your day (because they haven’t had any chances to talk all day). My son will ask about so many different topics and talk about so many different things.

He usually gets all mushy on me as well and adds in some ‘I love you’s or cuddles. Anything that will stop you from actually turning off the light and leaving the room.


So that is my top stalling techniques your kids might try on you.

Over to you. Did we miss anything? What tactics have your kids tried on you?


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