If you’re a parent, you’re probably familiar with the nightly challenge we like to call the ‘Bed Battle’. Aka getting your kids up to bed and getting them to stay there.
Isn’t it funny how children actually need more sleep than adults, yet so many of them fight bed time with every fibre of their body? My toddler is so typical for this! In fact just tonight, within half an hour of going to bed, she needed a wee, she needed water, her teddy had fallen out of bed and I needed to go in to make sure there wasn’t a ghost in her room. Sound familiar?
Sleepless nights are not fun for parents or for little ones. Plus, when children don’t get enough sleep they tend to have a harder time controlling their emotions, which means a lot more behaviour problems and potential tantrums.
10 Tips & Tricks To Help Your Child Sleep
So how do you get your kids to go to sleep at night? And more importantly how do you get them to go to sleep at night regularly and in their own room? This month we’re working with ‘Room To Grow‘ and sharing with you our top 10 tips and tricks to help your child sleep through the night:
1. Night lights –
Hands up whose little one cannot sleep without a night light? Lots of children find it really difficult to go to sleep when it’s completely dark. For children who struggle to sleep without light, a little night light can do wonders.
Our daughter has a really fabulous ‘touch on/touch off’ night light that’s on a timer. We’re using this to get her used to sleeping in the dark as well as the light. The light turns off after a set amount of time, but if she wakes up in the night she can easily tap it to fill her room with light again.
2. Routine –
Routine, routine, routine. Lots of parents swear by a ‘pre-bed’ routine and I have to admit that routine works absolute wonders for us. We swear by the ‘bath, book, bed’ routine for getting Evie to sleep. Nowadays, as soon as the bath is turned on she starts to prepare for a sleepy slumber. If you’re finding that you’re child is refusing to go to sleep at bed time, try implementing a routine to see if it makes a difference.
3. Tidy room –
Tidy, messy rooms are know to put children off from having a sweet nights sleep. If your child generally lives in a messy toy strewn room, it’s worth investing in some big storage bags like this pink gingham storage basket from Room To Grow. We have one of these bags and it’s big enough to handle a lot of toys and because its open, it’s really easy for children to tidy things away.
4. Foods before bed –
Sugary treats such as desserts after dinner or fruit juices, are know to cause a surge in energy. For a good nights sleep experts recommend that little ones avoid sugar based treats a couple of hours before bed. If Evie asks for a food or drink before bedtime, we like to give her a warm glass of milk or some crackers.
5. Set a wake up time –
A clock is a great way for older children to see that it’s not yet time to get up. Familiarising your child with the numbers and telling them which number means its time to get up can be a great way to ensure that both of you get a little more shut eye. Set a wake up time and tell them that until the clock says that time, they must stay in their bed or room. We got our beautiful ‘fairy wall clock‘ from Room To Grow.
6. Favourite Toy –
Almost every child has a favourite toy or comforter. My daughter has two bears that she refuses to sleep without. They are soft to cuddle, they smell comforting to her and they make her feel safe and secure. If your child doesn’t have a favourite bear or a soft toy, try introducing one.
7. Comfortable bedding –
A comfortable bed and mattress is so important for a good nights sleep, but so is the bedding. In summer we love this super pink spot snuggle blanket from ‘Room To Grow’. It’s warm and snug enough to sleep in, but doesn’t make Evie too hot and clammy in the night. In winter we give her a warm duvet and an extra snuggly blanket if she needs it.
8. Blackout Curtains –
Blackout curtains are a great idea for children who can’t sleep when it’s still light outside. These are especially great to help children stick to their bedtime routines alongside the changing seasons. Do you find that the changing seasons sometimes affects how your children sleep at night? Winter time, the nights are darker sooner, but in Summer it can be hard to get a child to go to bed when the sun is still beaming through the windows. Black out curtains are a great choice for children who need complete darkness when they sleep.
9. Temperature –
Another tip and trick to help your child sleep at night is a cool bedroom. According to experts, a cooler bedroom promotes a better night sleep. Setting the thermostat to 18-20 degrees is a good base for a cosy but cool room. Make sure your child doesn’t have too thick a duvet in summer months to avoid them getting clammy and restless in the night.
10. Don’t use technology close to bed time –
It’s a really good idea to prevent children from using technology for a good portion before bed time. TV’s, ipads, games, and other electronic devices can actually prevent sleep. The light that emits from them is said to mimic daylight and can trick our brains into thinking it needs to stay awake. Going to bed after using technology can often promote a restless start to the night.
If you’re struggling with sleepless nights, we hope these top tips have helped. If you’re looking for bedroom inspiration, be sure to check out our bedroom themed posts; the ‘Ultimate Toddler Girls Bedroom‘ and ‘5 Clever Ways To Organise Your Bedroom‘. For more everyday tips and tricks make sure you head over and check out Room To Grows fabulous blog.
Do you have any tips and tricks to help your child sleep at night? Do you have a non-sleeper? A co-sleeper? Or a child that loves bedtime. Let us know below!