The upcoming final episode of Game of Thrones is sure to have fans glued to their edge of their seats. For viewers with kids, though, guaranteeing over an hour of uninterrupted TV time to watch the show can sometimes seem impossible. Getting your kids in bed in time for the Game of Thrones finale will take some planning, but following these steps should make it a whole lot easier.
My husband and I have been devoted Thrones watchers for its eight season run, but we've had two toddlers since it first debuted. We've watched many an episode on a delay because we couldn't get our kids to bed by the time it started, or in broken up chunks as one of us hit pause to attend to a crying child. Since the final season began airing, however, we've been militant about making sure there are no interruptions. We plan our Sunday around making sure both kiddos are in bed well in advance of the show, and so far, we've succeeded every week (though I probably just jinxed myself).
These are the tricks and tips we've used with our 1-and 3-year olds to make sure they'll be in bed before the Thrones finale airs on May 19, because you've got enough you're worrying about.
1. Get Up Early
Early to rise, early to bed — it's not exactly how the saying goes, but it works here. My 3-year-old daughter's wake up times can vary wildly, and while sometimes it's glorious to let her sleep in a bit and have one less kid to chase after in the morning, on Thrones night, that's a no go.
Parents suggested the ideal wake up time for a toddler is about 7:30 a.m. Starting the day around that time should have your kiddo all tuckered out well in advance of Thrones, in my experience.
2. Tire Them Out
Wake up time alone won't guarantee that they'll be tired by a certain time of night, but having an active day will certainly help. If the weather is good, my husband and I take our kiddos for long walks or out to the park to burn up all that endless toddler energy.
Just make sure to wind down any activity well in advance of bedtime, or the Child Development Institute warns that they could become too stimulated to sleep.
3. Plan Nap Time Carefully
Depending on your child's age, a nap may or may not be necessary. My 1-year-old can't make it through the day without a bit of a snooze. We typically bump his nap up a little earlier than normal when Thrones is coming on, just to make sure it doesn't end up interfering with bedtime.
My 3-year-old, however will be up way past her bedtime if she naps during the day. She rarely does these days, but if she looks a little sleepier than normal on Sundays, I have no shame in admitting that my husband and I do everything in our power to perk her up and avoid a nap.
4. Keep It Dark
Now that it's well into May, the days are getting longer and it's a lot brighter at bedtime than it used to be. Pull the curtains tight so your kiddo doesn't get any ideas about it still being playtime. Baby Sleep Site noted that keeping their rooms dark should also encourage kids to sleep in later the next morning as well, so it's a win win.
5. Play Some White Noise
Falling asleep is one thing, but staying asleep can be quite another. I typically play some white noise for my light sleeping 3-year-old, which is especially helpful on Thrones night to mask the yelling at the TV that seems to be happening more and more lately. Healthline noted that white noise can be a really useful tool for helping little ones sleep, but be sure to keep it at least seven feet away, and don't turn the volume too high — you don't want to hurt your kiddo's ears.
6. Snuggle To Sleep
You may have a firmly established bedtime routine already, but desperate times call for desperate measures. When it looks like my kids won't be in dreamland by the time the show starts, I'll hop in bed to snuggle them to sleep. Nothing works faster, and it does feel pretty amazing — as long as I can quietly tiptoe out of the room without waking them.
7. Bribe Them If You Need To
When all else fails, I'll definitely consider a bribe. "If you lay down and try to sleep right now, Mommy will take you to Target tomorrow!" It's a highly effective strategy, but use this one as a last resort — it's just too expensive otherwise.