Tip 1 Make sure your child is tired enough for sleep. Do not try to put them down early because you are tired of the day. This always ends badly for us, and our son will end up staying up even later than normal because he fights going to bed.
Tip 2 No stimulating activity before bed
Tip 3 Ensure you allow plenty of time for the entire bedtime routine, starting with dinner.
Tip 4 Make sure your child is not overtired. Ours will challenge every part of the routine if he is, and bedtime will be later than ever.
Tip 5 Find a routine and stick to it. Here is ours:
1. My son needs to start eating dinner at least 1.5 hours before bedtime
2. After dinner, straight to the bath or shower
3. After bath, we dress him and put a 5 minute show on so we can calmly brush his teeth
4. After his show, he knows he has to go to the toilet or there will be no book
5. We read a book and then lights go out.
In terms of getting our son to stay in bed, we don't mind if he comes into our bed in the night. We make sure he goes to sleep in his bed though. Thankfully it is not an issue any more, but we used to have to stand at the door and keep returning him to his bed.
I am posting this in conjunction with a competition run by twittermoms and www.dramau.net