Toddler Sleepy-Time Script

by Kerry Tuschhoff, HCHI, CHt, CI

Please see Please...please...go to SLEEP!, an article with steps you can take to help ensure success with your child's Sleepy-Time tape.

**Record the following script in a very *soft and low*, sing-song voice, (Mom or Dad, whichever you think the child will respond to most). Use soft, slow music in the background, like a lullaby or relaxation music but nothing that would be associated with play. Be enthusiastic and Barney-like while talking, but talk slowly and pause often. (Editor's note: DIE BARNEY DIE.) ;-)

You might want to show the child some cotton balls and maybe a picture of a fairy before the first time the tape is played. Have a quiet bedtime and naptime routine that is the same each night/day, and when the routine is completely over, turn on the tape, telling the child that it is time for their own very special story.

If your routine includes staying with your child for awhile until they fall asleep, you can both listen to the tape together, and be sure to make comments during it such as "Ohhh, wow! This story is just for you. What a beautiful sleepy fairy! etc."

You can personalize this script for an older child by finding a theme they might like - Pokemon, Barbie, Yu Gi Oh, etc. and use simple imagery and suggestions that would go along with those characters guiding the child easily to sleep.

Script:

(Music at the beginning for at least 30 seconds)
"....Wow......._________(child's name) it's time for your own very special story! Mommy (or Daddy) is going to tell you a story right now and all you want to do is listen and think about what the story says........................ and you're going to listen with your eyes closed, so that you can see the wonderful things in the story much better!........................It's so fun to have a story all your own, just for _________(child's name) so here we go!

Now........close your eyes....................and get all cuddly and snuggly in bed there..........with your favorite_________ (child's favorite doll, stuffed animal or blanket)..........Do you feel nice and soft and comfortable now?........Is your pillow just the way you like it?................Good.........Nice soooooft blankets and sheets............Mmmmmmm............it is so nice to just be resting right now with your favorite______________.............now remember that you're going to keep your eyes closed while you listen so you can see what's going on much better, so let's close them right now..........Great!!............O.K..

Now..........__________(child's name)...........Do you know what cotton balls are? Of course you do! They are soft and mushy and feel nice in your hand..........well...........clouds are as soft as cotton balls too but they're much bigger!.....so...............let's just think of a soft fluffy cloud........can you imagine that right now? A sooooft fluffy cloud............that's any color you want it to be....................What color would you like your cloud to be? .........Think about it for a minute..........your favorite color.............(PAUSE)

Yes, that's a verrrrry pretty color!.............Good.............. Now...............think of your soft fluffy cloud...........just the color you want it to be........... and pretend that you are now lying right down on it!...................Pretend the soft, fluffy cloud is on your bed and you are lying right on top of it!............ Wow! ...........It feels sooooooooo soft, just like cotton balls, all over.............(PAUSE).........Pretend your soft fluffy cloud is getting even softer, and it feels soooooooo nice to lay on it. You just love the soft feeling...........just like cotton balls...........

Now see.....your _________(child's favorite doll, stuffed animal or blanket) is right here with you on the soft fluffy cloud, just floating.........floating..............floating on the soft fluffy cloud with ____________(child's name). And just listen to the pretty music now..........