10 ways to encourage your reluctant sleeper 12



I have posted many times that Mini Mad has issues with getting to sleep.  It is something that he (and us) has suffered with since being a toddler.  In January this year it got so severe that we sought some professional guidance and we have been consistently working on it since then.  So how do we go about encouraging our reluctant sleeper?

10 ways to encourage your reluctant sleeper

Finally some nine months later I feel that we are getting on top of it and feel confident enough to share what we have been doing that has been helping us.

10 ways to encourage your reluctant sleeper

  1. Set rules and stick by them. We have set bedtimes and do not deviate from them unless there is an exceptional reason why.
  2. Have a bedtime routine that works for you.  We have no screens after 6pm and after dinner it is wash, PJ’s, reading and family time before bed.
  3. Set realistic expectations – be honest about what you want to achieve and share it with your child.  We had a chart showing the bedtime rules.
  4. Be consistent – this is hard, but essential
  5. We allow Mini 30 minutes reading time in his room.  Thanks to his Lumie lamp, which dims automatically over 30 minutes we often find him asleep with his specs on and a book in hand.
  6. Mini had a mid sleeper bed, but we moved to a single bed frame , which he much prefers.  We passed on his bed and thinner mattress to Frugal Family.
  7. Work out if rewards or punishment work for your child or even both.  For mini we found that removing his screen privileges were a big motivation for keeping him in his bed room!
  8. Blackout blinds really help in summer
  9. End the night on a positive note.  Each night we write down three positive things that we are grateful for that day.
  10. If Mini is finding it really hard to relax then we use a Relax Kids CD

reluctant sleeper

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12 thoughts on “10 ways to encourage your reluctant sleeper

  • Julie

    So pleased to hear you are making progress, that must be a great help to you all. We need to find a way to help Katie sleep longer in the morning. She woke up at 4.45 this morning and John got up with her at 5.30 (any time after 5am is normal, 4.45 was even worse than normal!). Then she fell asleep at 10.45 when we went to Tesco, by the time I got home she’d had 20 mins in the pushchair………now I can hear her playing away in her cot because she’s not so tired after her wee nap, I suspect she won’t fall asleep long, if at all, before it is time to pick up the others, and then she’ll be very tired for the rest of the afternoon. Help! Juliex

  • Gillian

    All good advice and I’m really glad to hear it’s helping Mini Mad. Consistency is key and that’s the hardest part, I find. Bella has always gone to bed (and slept) like a dream ever since she was tiny but Angus – not the same! Every couple of weeks we have to do a “re-set” which usually involves tears or tantrums when he starts messing around and getting out of bed at bedtime and we have to enforce our rules again… xx

  • Jo

    Brilliant post. I’m having real issues with Buddy so will look to use your tried & tested rules to see if they will work for us. Thanks Jen x

  • Actually Mummy...

    We have similar with GG and have used the CD. We have to remove all her books from her room before lights out or she will read by fairy light under the duvet! And we’ve just made a set of Worry Dolls for her, as she gets quite an active mind when she hits the pillow!

  • Livesey girl

    Our biggest sleep issue is that about once a week our 20 month old will sleep 7pm-12 and then decide it’s party time until about 4 in the morning. We just can’t figure out why. We have a strict bedtime routine of bath, story, prayers and sit with him until he settles. We partake in 1 structured activity per day (play groups, swimming, soft play etc) plus the usual array of chores, play dates and the like. He isn’t hungry, thirsty, dirty or in pain. He just wants to be awake. He is happy just to lie there, as long as you lie with him. He amuses himself. It’s very odd and very draining and who knows why! Good job we love him 😀

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