11 Moms Share Their Toddlers' Most Bizarre Bedtime Rituals

11 Moms Share Their Toddlers' Most Bizarre Bedtime Rituals

Think you’re the only mom who does weird things to get her kid to sleep? Think again!

By Nicole Fabian-Weber

When it comes to getting our kids to sleep, we parents will do anything, which is why so many of us have such strange bedtime rituals. Hey, if letting your kid poke your belly button 'til he fell asleep worked once, why not do it a thousand times? It's better than the alternative (not sleeping).

Here, 11 mamas share the bizarre bedtime rituals they take part in with their kids before they (hopefully!) drift off to sleep each night. And all we can say is: whatever works!

1. "One night, my husband was trying to make me laugh, so he started singing an MC Hammer song while swinging my daughter's legs -- this started because she has these loose pajamas that look like 'Hammer pants' we all remember from the 1980s. Now she demands that we 'do Hammer' every single night during the bedtime routine, even though she doesn't know the reference or why it's funny. We also have to sing six songs -- three in her chair and three in her bed -- and we have to listen to another specific song while brushing teeth so that she can make a grand entrance to her room while doing a dance. And I absolutely must come back to her room to give her a final hug and kiss after I leave. But she sleeps great, so we do all these weird things to keep the peace. And we have it down to about 30 minutes -- not bad." -- Sara F., New York City

2. "We do this hug and kiss thing. I have no idea how it started. Here's how it goes: My son says: ‘Hug!’ We hug. Then he says: ‘That's right. Kiss.’ We kiss. Then he says: ‘That's right. Goodnight, Mommy.’" -- Michele Z., New Paltz, New York

3. "After reading my son a story when he was little, I had to lie there with him while he poked his finger in my belly button until he fell asleep. Some kids have favorite stuffed animals or blankets. He had my navel. And if I could have had it surgically removed and sewn onto a pillow, I would have." -- Adriana V., New York City

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4. "My daughter pretty much has a queen's ritual before going to bed each night. First we have to sit on the couch and talk about all of our favorite colors. Then she drinks milk with cinnamon out of a ceramic teacup. Then she brushes her teeth. Then her bunny 'brushes his teeth.' Then we turn out the lights and play with a flashlight for a bit. Then -- usually -- she goes up to bed!" -- Lauren B., Howell, New Jersey

5. "When my daughter is lying in bed each night, before she falls asleep, we have to 'release the tension.' I know, it sounds ridiculous for a 3-year-old, but I jokingly said it to her one night when I was softly tickling her arms and now, she asks me to 'release the tension' for her every night. So ridiculous!" -- Anna P., Oakland, California

6. "For some reason, in order to get my son to sleep, we have to let him wear a T-shirt of mine or my husband's over his pajamas. But we can't put it on when he's getting ready for bed. It has to be about 10 minutes after he's gone to 'sleep.' He always comes out of his room, and we'll say, 'Do you want to wear a T-shirt?' And he always says yes. We put one on him, and he's good for the night!" -- Heather S., Los Angeles, California


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7. "My daughter likes to take her brother's toy cars to sleep with her. Every night, she has to pick out a new 'friend' to sleep with, and once we get in bed, they have to zoom their way under her pillow, where they 'sleep' for the night." -- Melanie K., Los Angeles, California

8. "Before going to sleep each night, I have to lie in bed with my daughter while she twirls my hair -- not her own, but mine. It's pretty bizarre, but it actually feels like a mini-massage, so I don't mind!" -- Ilene P., Manalapan, New Jersey

9. "My son 'hides' every night before bed -- and it's not to not go to sleep, it's a game. After he has some milk, he'll hide underneath our couch pillows or behind a plant, and we have to 'find' him if we want him to go to bed." -- Erin S., Denver, Colorado

10. "Every night before bed, my daughter has to watch a specific video online while I lightly stroke her back with a fine-toothed comb! I know, it's so weird, but I swear she sleeps better whenever I do this!" -- Kate M., Syracuse, New York

11. "After brushing teeth and before reading stories, my son wants to do 'funny face time' in the mirror. We -- my husband, he, and I -- stand in the bathroom mirror, making crazy faces. Sometimes, I'm really not in the mood for it, but it always makes me laugh!" -- Beth H., Seattle, Washington

What crazy things do you do to help your toddler sleep?

Nicole Fabian-Weber is the mama to a toddler girl and a baby boy. She lives outside of NYC and writes for The Stir and numerous other online publications. Right now, she’s probably fantasizing about sleep.

Image ©iStock.com/mediaphotos

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