It’s 10:30 p.m., you’re dozing off and just as your head is about to hit the pillow you realize that your toddler is wide awake! Every parent has had this happen, but just because you get a late night here and there doesn't mean you have to let it become the norm. Here are four ways to get your tot in bed at a decent hour:

Have Dinner Earlier

If you’re sitting down to eat after 7 p.m., chances are, your little one will have a full stomach (and perhaps some indigestion) when he or she should be trying to catch his zzz’s. Try eating an hour earlier and be sure to cut off any sweets too. If eating earlier isn’t possible, try serving smaller portions.

Have Bathtime Before Bedtime

Giving your toddler a warm bath is soothing and will help him or her relax. Try a light massage as you help them ready for bed.

Read a story

What’s bedtime without a quick story?  Read to your little one as they try to doze off.  Your voice will comfort him and provide a soothing a transition as he or she goes to sleep.

Lights Out

Get in the habit of turning the light out (or down) to remind them it's bedtime. No games, no talking. Darkness signals to the body that it’s time to “shut off.” Try to have lights out time at the same time every night and your tot will soon get used to the new bedtime.