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  • Bedtime reading is always a great way to help your toddler wind down, but creating your very own Beddy-Bye book can be even more fun..and also a tricky way to reduce bedtime resistence.

    Here’s how to make one:

    Take your little buddy to the store to buy stickers that he likes, colored construction paper, a hole punch and a nice loose-leaf binder (so you can add and remove pages at will). Then at home, you and your buddy can work together to decorate the covers of your new book.

    Inside the book, on the first and last pages, make a happy face and write “The 4 Rules of Happy Sleep.” Feel free to make up your own rules, but here are some good ones:

    • Happy, clean hands.
    • Brush, brush sugar bugs off your teeth.
    • PJs feel good!
    • I’m snug as a bug in bed.

    Over the next few days, take some photos: you buying special sheets; your tot’s star chart; eating dinner; playing before bedtime (lights dimmed); putting on PJs; brushing teeth; turning on the white noise; doing bedtime sweet talk; prayers; kisses from Mommy and Daddy; lights-out; your tyke sleeping; waking up happy with the birds.

    Also, take shots of other family members (including pets) getting ready for bed and sleeping. And while you’re at it, include more fun sleep pictures from magazines and even scribbles your toddler made about happy dreams.

    Under each photo or drawing, add little captions, like:

    • “Maya, brushing away the sugar bugs.”
    • “Daddy and Theo reading fun stories…that feels good!”
    • “Twyla’s eyes are getting comfy and closing.”

    Finally, put in a few special nature pictures…perhaps a sunny sky and the moonlight night, or some animals sleeping.

    Read it together during the day and ask, “And what comes next?” so your child is totally in sync with the routine. And from time to time during the day, ask him out of the blue if he can help you remember all four of the rules. Looking at his book every day will quickly help your little cutie become more cooperative at night.

    Your Beddy-Bye book will become another great treasure from your child’s early years!

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