Parenting Tips: Get Kids to Sleep

If a good night’s sleep is about as rare as a solar equinox, welcome to the wonderful world of parenthood. Here are some tips for how to get more zzz's

Credit: Flickr/katrinket

Getting your kids to sleep effecrtively means more sleep for you, too

There are a lot of frustrated and sleep-deprived parents out there who can’t get their kids to sleep

A spoof children’s book about going to sleep (warning: there’s a swear word in the title) has reached bestseller status on Amazon before it’s even been published.

If you’re in the sleep-deprived boat with all the other parents, here are some strategies to help you get the sleep you need.

How to Get Kids to Sleep

Keep to a routine bedtime. It’s boring but true: kids who go to sleep at the same time every night and wake up at the same time every morning are more likely o go to sleep and stay that way. (Parents, too.)

Invest in blackout drapes. Is your little nightingale singing the get-up song at 5:30 am? Blocking out the light can work wonders in coaxing her to sleep for longer.

Breaking Bad Sleep Habits

Don’t fall for the six-hour bedtime routine. Bath, story and bed, yes; bath, five stories, two escapes, three requests for snack/stuffy/drink and a screaming fit because the covers fell off the bed: skip it. Aim for a half hour max.

Routines are recommended, not required. If you dislike the drawn-out approach, simply announce it’s bedtime and put kids there.

Breaking Bad Wake-up Habits

Help your kids stay asleep. Kids who wake in the night may only need to be briefly comforted, but now you’re up for hours. Try letting them sleep with pets or same-sex siblings so they don’t wake parents.

Make naps work for you. Kids who sleep poorly at night generally go off their daytime nap schedules, too. Try to adjust by a half-hour per day until you get both routines back on track.