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8 ways to help your child sleep better

Ankita A Talwar

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8 ways to help your child sleep better

Getting a young child to sleep on time is not as easy as it may sound. Each night can be full of stubborn resistance, pouts, and sooner or later the tears. While it is harrowing for the parents, it is equally off-putting for the child who is made to do something he/she doesn’t want to. Here are 8 simple tips that will make bedtime pleasant for the child and easy on your nerves. Bonus: Find out what research has to say about screen and sleep connection.


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Rubia Begum

| May 19, 2017

thanks a lot.

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Ishwarya

| May 01, 2017

thank you.. let me try this frm today only

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Varsha Pandey

| Oct 13, 2016

I really have a very tough time making my kids to bed. As an when I ask them to do so they wait for me to be on the bed. And every time it's not easy to be on bed with them so early. I will definetly try some of your trick while many of them I've already

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Dr Saba Nasreen

| Oct 13, 2016

Thanks for giving information

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Janvi Ajay Kaklotar

| Oct 12, 2016

It's very good information.. Thank you

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Rinky Shendge

| Oct 09, 2016

thanks for the tips

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Sarah Ari

| Oct 06, 2016

Thanks ankita will try all the above... Valuable suggestions

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Manick Manick

| Aug 26, 2016

Hi, How can we stop the kid from sleeping in the afternoon or evening hours. This sleeping time really makes their schedule to go wrong

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Lekha Kartik

| Aug 21, 2016

nice tricks.. thanks..

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Sujata

| Aug 21, 2016

it's vry gud suggestion

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Mrs Rimaraj

| Mar 04, 2016

Hi ankita very good post and very helpful

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Mrs Rimaraj

| Mar 04, 2016

Hi preksha. My daughter too had the same problem but i have got a solution for it. i keep a bottle of milk ready and as she gets up in the night witout entertaining her too much u can give the bottle in her hand. so that she doesnt come out of that sleeping mood. one more thing is don't take her out from bed at any cost. keep playing in the bed itself. slowly slowly she will feel drousy and sleep off

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Maneesha Gupta

| Feb 11, 2016

Oo8

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archana turaga

| Dec 25, 2015

Hi . My 4 yrs old daughter doesn't like to sleep at night. inspire of following all rituals at night,she takes 3 hrsvyo actually to go to sleep.

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Amita Ranalkar

| Oct 22, 2015

My son is 2 years old and still doesn't sleep soundly the whole night..... He wakes up every two to three hours and needs milk when he does.. He has a good wholesome dinner but still its the same.... Also how long should an afternoon nap be?... He sleeps for 2-3 hours

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Paridhi

| Oct 22, 2015

Hi ankita, I share the same problems as Maria does. I have a 7. 5 month old baby. I don't face much issues putting my infant to sleep. Offer a top feed around 930pm, allow him to play till 10 1030 and then bf him to put him to sleep because he doesn't sleep without it. But ever since he was born he doesn't sleep for over 2 hours at a stretch. Initially I Didn't have so much concerns because I thought he was small but now things are getting even worse with him getting up every 1 to 1. 5 hours. And mostly only for comfort feeding. He stays sleepy when he gets up and just wants my feed to fall back to sleep again. Sometimes he instantly falls back to sleep and doesn't even drink the milk. Not only is it hampering my sleep I'm more worried it is affecting his growth by not giving him proper sleep. Some help on this will really be appreciated. Thanks in anticipation.

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preksha Rahatkar

| Oct 21, 2015

Hi ankita. , my baby is of 22 month. He sleeps at 10 pm or around 10 pm but at 2 ir 3 pm he wake up like that his sleep is completed and after 2 hrs again he sleeps. i am very worried plz. Guide me

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Maria Shalini

| Oct 20, 2015

Hello maam... my ten months old daughter is not sleeping well in nights for almost two months now. I feed her rice around 7. 30 or 8.... She falls asleep breastfeeding by 9.... she wakes up eevery 1. 5 or 2 hrs once after that wants to bf and then sleep... am worried she is not sleeping well.. all this has started from wen she was 8 months old... she eats pretty well . please help

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Ankita A Talwar

| Aug 31, 2015

Nita Bugade, children keep changing their sleep schedules till almost 1. 5 years age. so, possibly this is what your baby too is doing. What you can do to help set his routine is 1) ensure that when he sleeps at 11:15 he is not hungry or wet in diapers. Anything that can irritate his sleep. 2)set a night-time routine for him. give him a light massage, a sponge bath, change of clothes etc... do it everyday religiously and soon he will learn to identify it as sleep time. 3) if he wakes up within one hour or half hour, for eg: sleep at 11:30 and wake at 12:00 check for hunger, wet diaper etc. , but then help him go back to sleep. do not play with him, cuddle him, or even put on the lights. Let him get bored to sleep. He will cry etc. , but do not stimulate him further. 4) if he is getting a 5 hour sleep at night, without disturbance, it is good infact. A child as young as 10 months can't sleep for more than 5-6 hours at a stretch without getting hungry or peeing. So don't stress.

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Nita Bugade

| Aug 29, 2015

Hello Ankita, My baby is 10 months old, my baby does not sleep be for 1 or2am. I don't understand his schedule. He wakes up by 9 then nap 1 to 3, again he sleeps by 5 to 6. 30, then again he feels sleepy by 9 but we keep him awakeawake, 11. 15 he sleeps and get up by 12 then he does not sleep before 3. Sometimes he sleeps by 12 but get up at 5 am. PL GUIDE ME

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Ankita A Talwar

| Aug 19, 2015

Hi Radhika, it is normal for children to look for comfort by snuggling next to the parents. If it doesn't disturb your sleep or the baby's then don't stress. Cuddle her back to sleep. Trust me you will miss these moments later on when they are on their own. But if it is disturbing, try and pat her back to sleep in the cot itself and see if she gets up coz she wants to use the washroom or is thirsty. Get an idea of the time when she wakes up and start patting her before she wakes up... basically try and break the cycle by anticipating in advance. About thumb sucking, your could cover her thumb with a strong tape like dynaplast or apply one of the bitter medicines available in the market such as femite solution. Or ask your doctor for advice too.

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Swati

| Aug 15, 2015

Nice inputs

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radhika

| Jul 29, 2015

Hi my 2yrs 4 months old daughter gets up at mid night around 2 and wants to sleep on bed with me instead of her cot. How can i avoid that. And secondly she takes thumb and sleeps how can i make her sleep without taking her thumb.

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Neha Gupta

| Jul 28, 2015

Tnx Ankita for your early reply. My daughter at stretch sleep maximum of three hours. Same pattern she follows in night aswell. We tried to make her evening sleeping hour less but still she wakeup at 3 am in morning. I guess this is because of hunger .She is still taking feed from me. She is not taking a single drop of milk except with oat. If i am not wrong this is because of her feeding habits. I want to ween off her. How much time kids generally take to ween off.

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Ankita A Talwar

| Jul 28, 2015

Also, Neha, the night time sleep is very essential for the child as that is the time the body has maximum growth hormones. So reschedule her sleep hours so that she gets a long, restful deep sleep at night, instead of erratic day hours. If she does get up in the night, don't pay attention to her, don't play with her, don't switch on any lights, don't cuddle her. Unless and until it is a call for hunger or diaper change, let the child get bored and go back to sleep. She mite cry for attention and nudge you, but just try and pat her back to sleep, without creating much disturbance. she will soon understand that it is not worth it to wake up and will learn to sleep off--again requires patience from your side.

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Ankita A Talwar

| Jul 28, 2015

Neha Gupta , This perhaps requires cooperation and perseverance from the child caretakers at home, in this case your mother-in-law. To be fair, for a person of senior age, to manage an active toddler can get tiring and therefore, elders may prefer to let the child sleep as much through the day. What can work in your case, is maybe making an effort to keep the child awake, especially in the evening. Scrap her evening nap and automatically, your daughter will get tired on a reasonable time at night and sleep off (children so young cannot keep themselves active for more than 4-5 hours at a stretch). But, remember, if she sleeps off early at night, she will wake up at a gap of 8-9 hours later... meaning early morning. You could then spend those early morning hours bonding with her--take her out in the stroller in the fresh morning air, feed her the first meal of the day yourself etc. She can then be made to sleep in afternoon for a single stretch of 2-3 hours, after a heavy lunch (maybe from 1-4 pm types where both her morning and evening nap gets covered). This way she will get her required sleep of 12-13 hours, but in a more organized manner (and if you too are getting restful sleep, you too will be fresh to play with her). To scrap her evening nap, schedule her outdoor time at the nap time.. take her out, play with her. You can maybe hire a maid for those hours in the evening who can be with the child and keep your mother-in-law free too. But remember, any change in a schedule for the child requires patience and will show results only after 1-2 months. Also, like I mentioned, cooperation and help from all family members. Hope this helps.

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Neha Gupta

| Jul 27, 2015

Hi Ankita,Tnx for your useful blog. I am vry must pissed off with my daughter sleeping schedule. Because i am a working mother so my mother in law is taking care of my 17 month old daughter. She used to sleep two times a day in morning for 2-3 hr & in evening 1 to 1. 5 hr. she dont feel sleepy till 12 in night. And after sleeping at 12 Pm she used to get up in 3 am morning which is a big trouble. At times she demands to play in night in play .We daily take her in park for 2-3 hr everyday so that she can be tired enough to sleep peacefully in night. Pls help me out to make her sleeping schedule.

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Vaishali Gupta

| Jun 20, 2015

The tips are indeed useful..... but I guess my son is too grown up fr stories...... he does listen to them.... but doesn't fall asleep till I also wind up all my work n lie down to sleep with him......

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Ankita A Talwar

| Jun 08, 2015

Gaurav Rajesh Lodha, It can get difficult for parents. You can try working on the ideas mentioned in the blog; re adjust the time of the entire household. if you are sleeping late, chances are the child will want to be awake too; ensure no screen time, but enough activity during the evening (if he is not tired enough, he will not sleep easily); the entire family have dinner early, etc. Children model behaviour, so if they see their family awake till late in the night, they too want to participate in all the action. difficult but true. hope this helps.

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Ankita A Talwar

| Jun 08, 2015

Hi Umathiagarajan, for a one year old child the reasons for crying in the night can be many from hunger, discomfort of digestion, ache and pain, diaper discomfort, teething, or simply boredom. Ideally work by eliminating causes one by one--when he cries, offer him a feed or a sip of water, if it doesn't work, try pressing him stomach to see if he reacts with pain, or try and get him burped, change diaper, apply soothing gel (doctor will reccommend) for teething etc. , or rock and sing him to sleep. this may help. Check with your doctor also.

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Ankita A Talwar

| Jun 08, 2015

Rashmi Hemanth, If you feel your daughter is not sleeping on time at night, you can consider cutting out the afternoon nap. Children do it more out of habit than requirement. Instead, in the afternoons, you can let her just relax in the house where she can lounge around in comfortable clothes, play with her toys, do some colouring or painting, or you can read her a book, basically not do anything that is tiring for mind or body. This will rest her also but not affect the night sleep. It might be difficult initially for you to keep her occupied like this, but gradually children learn ways to keep themselves occupied. Thanks

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Ankita A Talwar

| Jun 08, 2015

Hi Kaveri Priyanka, there is no hard and fast rule about the number of hours of sleep (it can change based on activity of the child, mental stress and even seasonally based on sunlight hours), but a general guideline for children is around 8-10 hours of sleep. if you feel, your children get cranky because of lack of sleep, increase their sleep hours and also ensure they get the maximum restful, deep sleep. A quality, deep sleep of lesser hours is better than a long disturbed sleep. For quality sleep, I hope the suggestions in the blog will help you. do share your experience. thanks.

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Kajal Singh

| Jun 07, 2015

My 3 yr old baby started nursery who sleeps whole day and awakes full night, I tried hard to wake him up saying I will take him for shopping get toys what he likes, like that he sleeps 3 hours a day and 8 hours at night but still its 12 to 8 iI will soon chachange it to 10 to 6 :-)

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Gaurav Rajesh Lodha

| Jun 07, 2015

Hi my son is 2 years and 3 months. He usually sleepe around 1:00 Am. Really making difficult for both of us. Pls help.

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Payal Pandey

| Jun 06, 2015

Nice and informative!

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Umathiagarajan

| Jun 06, 2015

Hi my son s one yr old he s crying d whole night without sleeping. I don't know what to do. Pls help me

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Sakthirajan

| Jun 06, 2015

Very useful & informative tips for us to help to fall asleep for my little hero

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Rashmi Hemanth

| Jun 06, 2015

Hi Ankita.. , very useful it was.. What should be d nap time for 4. 5 years old child in the day time.. Usually she takes nap for around 1. 5 to 2 hours during d day and it becomes the toughest job to put her to sleep in the night time.. She does not sleep before 12. Or should I not allow her to sleep in the noon?

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May Ann Labis Thaniga

| Jun 05, 2015

Hi ms Ankita, I hope it will help us and thanks for sharing this blog... More helpful and I wish we could be there... More over my daughter is still lively by 1-3am Indian time..

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Kaveri Priyanka

| Jun 05, 2015

Hi Ankita.... nice article... can u guide me wat should be sleeping hours for 9 and 5 year old kid... as my kids at times behave cranky which i assume due to lack of sleep... do guide... thanks

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Aastha Jain

| Jun 04, 2015

Will be trying these from today itself... Thank you

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Ankita A Talwar

| Feb 04, 2015

Priya, depending on the age of the child, his activity, and how much of the deep sleep he gets in the night, you can adjust the afternoon sleep time. Ideally, for a child around 1. 5-2 years, 1. 5 to 2 hours should be okay, provided he is sleeping around 9 hours in the night. For a school-going child, who needs to follow early to bed and early to rise routine, reduce the afternoon nap so that he sleeps early at night. ALso, there will be exceptions. there will be days when the child is very tired and will sleep more, or will sleep less. And importantly, afternoon nap shouldn't spread over to evening. Wake the child up by 4:30-5, so that he still has time to go outdoors or play in the evening, and have an evening snack etc.

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Priya

| Feb 03, 2015

Hw long should the afternoon nap be??

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Ankita A Talwar

| Oct 09, 2014

HI Bhawna, Good to know the tips shared here will be useful to you. thanks for the encouraging words.

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Bhawna

| Oct 09, 2014

very useful blog... I'll try these with my 14-month-old kiddo. He fights sleep and refuses to go to the bed despite feeling tired and exhausted.

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Ankita A Talwar

| Jul 14, 2014

Hi Satapdi, in fact maybe you should try and expose her to a bit of sound. Don't try and block things out totally but gradually get her used to it. If she wakes up at the slightest of the sounds, instead of hushing the sound out, pat her back to sleep. Hope this will help.

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Satapdi majumder

| Jul 04, 2014

my 1yr 10 mnths old child is a very light sleeper,she wakes up at d slighest sound, i try to keep noise at bay... but sometimes it's just not possible...

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Ankita A Talwar

| Apr 25, 2014

Hi Meghana, children sometime resist sleep if they see activity around the house because they want to participate in it. To set his schedule, you might need to tailor yours temporarily. Switch off the lights in the house, asking others to cooperate too, assuring him that everyone is sleeping while you and your husband cuddle with him. Once he is sound asleep, you can step out of the room and carry on with your chores. If the rotine of the house is late, he will follow it. Also, ensure he doesn't sleep too much in the day or late into the evening. reduce his day nap duration. hope this will help

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Meghana

| Apr 25, 2014

I tried this but still he ends up being awake till 11 PM :( My son is 2 years 8 months old.

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Nishtha Dutt

| Mar 14, 2014

This is of great help, thanks Ankita!

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Ankita A Talwar

| Mar 10, 2014

Thanks Arunima, Yes, I really wish the blog is helpful to moms and dads of fussy sleepers..

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Anurima

| Mar 10, 2014

Great Tips Ankita. It is indeed a challenge to get our little ones to bed. I am sure this article will help sort the going to bed issue in many households :)

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