Making Bedtime Easier: How to Get Children to Sleep at a Reasonable Time

29 March 2016

Sleep plays an important part in your child’s development. Getting the right amount is vital for brain development, boosting their ability to function, and physical health. According to the National Sleep Foundation, toddlers should get around 12-14 hours of sleep each night. However, those with young children will understand that getting your child to sleep at night can be a lot harder than it sounds! We’ve spoken to some of our favourite bloggers to share some tips on how they get their children to settle in the evenings.


Helen from Kiddy Charts
“The most important things for me about helping little ones to get to sleep easily is to wind down before bedtime, no screens, and a routine. Kids really respond well to a relaxed routine.” - Helen Neale


Colette B from Going on an Adventure
“Read to your child.  Making a story part of the bedtime routine from the outset signals to your child that it's bedtime, that it's time to calm down and get ready for sleeping.  We started reading to our son at bedtime when he was just 5 weeks old and have done ever since.” - Colette B


Emily from Twin mummy and Daddy
“I think having a routine that you follow every night is important. It helps children to relax and feel secure because they’ll know to expect and what’s to come. In the run up to bedtime, we’ll change the girls into their pyjamas, then sit in one of their beds and read a bedtime story. When that’s finished, the girls know it’s time to go to sleep. Familiarity and allowing yourself plenty of time goes a long in way helping your child to unwind.” - Emily

 

Angela Milnes, parent blogger from Days in Bed
Angela from Days In Bed
"When my daughter was a tiny baby, I would give her a relaxing bath with lavender to help make her sleepy. I then wrapped her in swaddling and this helped her to feel safe and secure and go to sleep in her cot. As my daughter has grown I still use lavender often and wrap her snug in her blanket at bedtime. This works a treat. I also always make sure my child isn’t wearing nightwear that is too hot.” - Angela Milnes

 

Stephanie Couch, blogger from A Cornish Mum
Stephanie Couch from A Cornish Mum
"My most successful tip for dealing with getting little ones to sleep is CONSISTENCY, whatever approach you decide to go for, you need to stick with it.
Babies and toddlers need to know where they stand with you, routine comforts them and they eventually learn that you aren't going to give in and staying up won't be lots of fun and games. I found for us keeping the lights low whilst dealing with a waking little one helped, as did not talking to them or engaging them, just a quick cuddle then straight back in to bed. Eventually older ones stop getting out of bed when they wake as it's no fun, and babies know that cuddles will be there and settle a lot more quickly." -
Stephanie Couch


Suzy Pelta
"I have a 10-year-old boy and 7-year-old twins, so bedtime now is very different to how it used to be! When they were little, we always made sure bedtime was as calm as possible - with bath time, music, dim lighting, milk, story and bed. Routine was very important as it gave them and us structure. We found with our kids, that catching them before they got over tired was really important, because it didn't matter what time they went to bed, they were always early risers! They went to bed before they were overtired and had better quality sleep as they woke up more refreshed than they did on the days that for various reasons they had to go to bed later. " - Suzy Pelta