It’s 2am and you’re sound asleep when you hear the plea for ‘muuuummmmmmy’ or feel the presence of a little night time visitor by your bed. Sound familiar? All kids have times when they wake up through the night for various reasons, and while some kids may be able to settle themselves back to sleep, others may need a little helping hand when they wake in the wee hours. Any bleary‐eyed parent can attest that frequent night time waking is a sleeping problem that can be disruptive for all involved. So what can you do if this is a reality for your household?
- Don’t expose your child to anything that might scare them such as scary movies and TV shows, or scary stories especially before bedtime because it’s likely to upset them and keep them awake. Keep bedtime activities relaxing and enjoyable such as a nice warm bath, a cuddle or a calm bedtime story. After the bedtime routine put your child in his or her bed when they’re sleepy but not quite asleep, and then leave the room. This will help them to fall asleep on their own, even when awakened in the middle of the night.
- If your little one calls for you during the night, go to them and calmly talk to them, reassuring them that everything is OK. Once they have settled back down, encourage them to go back to sleep by saying something like ‘time to go to sleep now, sweet dreams’ and then quietly leave the room.
- If your child is afraid of the dark or things that go bump in the night, keep a dim nightlight on in their room and the bedroom door open for comfort and security. It might also be helpful to give them a security object like their favourite stuffed animal or blanket to snuggle through the night – something to help your little one feel safe, secure and comfortable when you aren’t present.
- Offer incentives if they stay in their bed during the night – simple things like stickers or a trip to their favourite place.
- If your child wanders into your bedroom in the middle of the night, take them back to their own bed to reassure them that it is a safe and comfortable place. You could also put a spare bed in your child’s room so that you can rest if they need you close by.
- To avoid sleepless nights consider a natural sleep aid like Cenovis Kids Vita Chewies Night Calm with lactium and chamomile to help your little one unwind after a busy day and encourage them to fall asleep and stay asleep through the night.