How To Improve Your Child's Sleep The Gentle Way

Sleep deprivation is one of the most difficult experiences for new parents. 

Sleep deprivation is one of the most difficult experiences for new parents. There is a reason why it has been used as a form of torture for centuries. It really is just that! The world can seem like a very dark place when you are running on empty and trying to survive on minimal sleep.
When the time is right you may be finding it increasingly difficult to function on the amount of sleep that has become a reality for you. This may be especially true if you are due to return to work or if you are expecting another baby
For those who don't want to go down the route of sleep training, there are plenty of ways to help your child (and you) enjoy longer and better quality periods of sleep.
I am no sleep expert but here are a few of the things that I use and swear by. 

1. Creating a gentle bedtime routine is really effective. It is really effective when every evening contains a similar routine and rituals that signify bedtime for your child. The bedtime routine can be as simple or as complex as you would like but consistency is key.

2. Water has been linked to relaxation. A warm and relaxing bath before bed is a great way to wind your child down and encourage a more serene state. This tends to help your child drift off easier and stay asleep for longer.

3. Keep an eye on naps. Naps may currently be the only thing keeping you sane but could they be a contributing factor to poor night-time sleep for your child? You might consider reducing the number of daily naps or the length of each nap so that your child is “tired enough” at bedtime.

4. Avoid screens and bright lights for at least one hour before bed. Reading time and quiet time with puzzles and toys that do not omit noise is a great way to help your child to wind down before they sleep. Screens, bright lights and loud noises will only stimulate your child.
5. Ensure that your child is eating a satisfying meal at a reasonable time. If your child is feeling hungry or too full at bedtime it will be an uncomfortable distraction. This will prevent them from being able to relax and fall into a deep slumber.

6. Make some changes to bedding and nightwear. If your child is too warm or too cold it will interrupt their sleep or prevent them from getting there within a reasonable time. It is worth considering making some changes in this department to make your child more comfortable.

7. Essential oils can be really helpful. Scents like Lavender have been known to help people feel more relaxed and sleep better. For older children, you could add some to a muslin cloth and place it somewhere in their bedroom to diffuse that scent.

8. Read Elizabeth Pantley’s No-Cry Sleep Solution. It has helped millions of parents around the world.

Tracey is a happy mammy to four-year-old Billy. She is a breastfeeder, gentle parent and has recently lost five stone so healthy family eating is her passion! You can find her at

Tracey Quinn

Proud mum of two who got married on Don't Tell The Bride and had an accidental home-birth (loves a good story). She's passionate about breastfeeding, positive thinking & all things cosy.

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