How can I get my baby to sleep?

How do I get my child to sleep? Tips for parents who are completely overtired

"How do I get my child to sleep?" is certainly one of the most common questions many parents ask during the first years of their child's life. Unfortunately, it is only a rumor that sleep problems stop after the first few months. A glimmer of hope that many parents cling to, however.

Even toddlers, kindergarten and school children can still find it difficult to sleep. They cannot fall asleep, wake up more often at night, do not want to sleep in their own bed or cannot fall asleep if mom or dad are not sitting next to them.

Mom and Dad quickly drive the little ones to the edge of despair. In contrast to the offspring, they are getting more and more tired and urgently want to change something. Unfortunately, there is no standard answer to the question "How do I get my child to sleep". There are tons of tips and methods, but you need to find out what works for you and your child.

How do I get my baby to sleep?

For the first six months, a baby needs a good 15 hours of sleep a day. It sleeps about 10 hours during the night, the remaining hours during the day. That sounds like a lot, but babies don't sleep for hours at a time. At night in particular, they usually wake up every four hours at the latest because they are hungry. Some time has passed before they are fed and, if necessary, swaddled.

Tips to get the baby back to sleep quickly at night:

  • Turn on as little light as possible.
  • Be quiet, speak muffled to your baby.
  • Do not play with your child.

To make going to bed easier in the evening, you can start early with rituals. Always feed the baby more or less at the same time, change it and then put on the pajamas. Then you can sing a good night song or let the music box run.

By the way: Many children find it difficult to fall asleep because they are overtired. Pay attention to the signals and make sure that your baby does not stay awake too long, but that the bedtime - also during the day - is observed.

Reading tip: The 5 best sleep aids for babies

Tips to help the child fall asleep alone

I won't sleep without my mom - does that sound familiar to you? Some children only fall asleep when mom or dad is sitting next to the bed. In the long run, this can be quite exhausting. There are many reasons for this behavior. Some children fear the dark, others fear separation. Try to find out why your offspring don't want to sleep alone. If there is a cause, try to fix it. For example, turn on a night lamp or remove things from the walls that cast creepy shadows. Once all of the problems have been resolved, there are several methods you can use to get your child to sleep alone. They all take some time. Important: you have to be consistent.

The alarm clock method:
At bedtime, tell your child that you will be back in five minutes. If necessary, set an alarm clock and check it out after five minutes. Only briefly. If it doesn't sleep, say you'll come back after ten minutes. If it cries, you can comfort it briefly, but don't get involved in delaying tactics.

You do the same for the next few evenings, but the time intervals are increased.

The step method:
On the first evening, sit down in bed with your child as usual. The next evening you sit down on a chair a little away from the bed. On the third night you sit in a chair near the door, then you leave the door open and say that you will stay on the same floor.

Tips to help children fall asleep in their own bed

Some children do not fall asleep in their own bed, others crawl into bed with their parents at some point in the night: Both are annoying in the long run. After all, at some point you want to have your bed just for you again! The little ones like to make themselves really big.

However, the step of falling asleep and staying asleep in their own bed is difficult for many children. Make it easier for them by talking about it. Explains how beautiful it is and that mom and dad are very close. To make it easier to sleep separately, you can put a mattress next to your bed on which the child sleeps for the first few nights. Then it goes to his bed and you can sleep on a mattress next to it at the beginning. But then, for example, use the alarm clock method to quickly ensure that he falls asleep on his own. If it comes to you at night, you bring it back - even if it is difficult and it would be easier to stay where you are.

Also read: Is baby teething? 7 signs baby's first tooth is coming soon

How do I get my toddler to sleep?

A toddler needs a good eleven hours of sleep a night. If you want to get up at seven in the morning, you should go to bed around eight in the evening. To make it easier to fall asleep, you should introduce rituals in the evening. Calm down the last hour before bed. There should be no more romping or watching TV. Instead, you can listen to quiet music, read a story, or tell a little bit. Then it goes to the bathroom first, then there is a short cuddle round and a bedtime story in bed.

By the way: These tips also apply to older children.

Reading tip: 4 tips to help your baby finally sleep through the night

Tips for sleeping through the night

Some children fall asleep quickly in the evening, but they wake up more often at night and then find it difficult to fall asleep again. With the right tips, you can ensure that waking up at night does not end in an hour of play, but rather in continuing to sleep:

  • Just wait and see, sometimes the child doesn't wake up properly and falls asleep again on its own.
  • Turn on only a small light, calm your child very quietly and gently. If necessary, take it in your arms for a moment.
  • Put it back to bed as soon as possible, cover it up well, and say goodbye.
  • Give him his favorite cuddly toy to bed.
  • If your child is often thirsty at night, provide a little water right away.
  • Leave a night light on.

Sources & further information:

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Important NOTE: The information in this article is provided for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for a doctor's diagnosis. If you have any uncertainties, urgent questions or complaints, you should contact your doctor.

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