5 Tips To Get Your Child To Sleep_AIS
November 14, 2023

5 Tips To Get Your Child To Sleep

Getting your child to sleep peacefully through the night is a common challenge for parents. Sleep is crucial for a child’s physical and cognitive development, and a well-rested child is generally happier and more alert during the day. In this article, we’ll explore various strategies to help your child get the quality sleep they need, ensuring they wake up refreshed and ready for a new day.



Change your perspective on sleep

Parents frequently worry whether their little ones are eating well enough throughout the day. Yet, the same kind of consideration is not given to sleep. Consider this: you can survive 3 weeks without food, and only 10 days without sleep!

Sleep is crucial nutrition for the brain, as much as food is nourishment for the body. Having said that, “junk sleep” is just as bad for those growing minds as junk food is for growing bodies. Have you ever slept 10-12 hours and woken up still tired? You have fed your body junk sleep. For children, this could have dire consequences as they struggle to focus, to have positive relationships with adults and peers, become irritable or disconnected from their environment, or go into overdrive. It’s time for some much needed rest.

Setting a Consistent Sleep Schedule

Children do not fit into adult schedules. Well-meaning parents keep their little ones up to be able to spend some time together before the house descends into nighttime sleep. Unfortunately, this is usually much too late. Most children should be in bed by 6.30-7.00 pm to prevent the ‘witching hour’ or ‘second wind’. This is when melatonin production stops (sleep hormone) and cortisol levels start building up (stress hormone). Ever wonder why it’s so hard to put your child to bed at this time? They are simply overtired and now also physiologically ‘stressed’. If you catch them in their sleep window, there will be no protesting! So if you want to spend some time with your child and the busy work schedule gets in the way, plan to wake up earlier in the morning and enjoy the wake-up routine and breakfast together.

Bedtime Routine and Wind-Down Activities

Chasing, jumping, roaring and stomping are great activities, but not before bedtime! Your nighttime routine should be progressively calming, starting with the most exciting activity (for some children, bath time has nothing on tsunami!) and ending with a chat in bed, or story time. The lights in your house can be dimmed an hour before sleep, and no screens should be allowed at this time. Start early and keep things consistent. A predictable sleep time routine sends signals to the brain: “Time to sleep is nearing, cue in melatonin”.

Sleep Training Techniques

There are many books on the market dealing in this topic and as many techniques as there are stars in the sky. Most are great, and few are perplexing, but the bottom line is: find the one you can commit to … and stick to it! The worst mistake a parent can make is to start something and give in for lack of commitment. All this teaches your child is: “I have to try harder, cry louder, and longer to make mommy and daddy understand …”. Most parents ask for a gentle, but quick method. Unfortunately, this is not possible. Gentle methods take time. Cry-it-out methods can be emotionally exhausting. In the end, if not done correctly, even gentle methods can produce more tears than cry-it-outs



Handling Night Wakings

Light. Social interactions. Food. These are three factors to avoid in the middle of the night.

So next time when you do a late-night check-in, avoid putting the lights on, don’t chat or give your little one too much eye contact, and avoid feeding once children are capable of sleeping through the night (usually at 6 months of age). By providing food at this time, parents disrupt the production of a hormone called ghrelin (suppresses appetite) and entrain their children to wake up and call for their bottles.

More importantly than this, teach your child to re-settle back to sleep. It is normal for children and adults to wake slightly after each sleep cycle. You do it too! You probably turn to the other side and head to slumberland without registering that you have awoken. The reason why you can do this is because you already know how to re-settle. Children need to learn. And here’s how: give them a chance to do it by themselves. Don’t help, give them the space and trust that they are capable.

What techniques does the Australian International School Infant Care use for nap times

At the Australian International School Infant Care, each child has an individualised sleep plan prepared by parents or in consultation with our in-house sleep consultant. Sleep plans are prepared with children’s natural biological rhythms in mind, thus eliminating the potential for ‘junk sleep’. Gradually and respectfully, babies who are co-sleeping or assisted to sleep at home are moved to independent sleeping. We use a combination of gradual withdrawal methods. A well rested baby is a happy, exploring baby!


Infant Care at the Early Learning Village

The Infant care curriculum at the Australian International School is centred around a philosophy of love, care, and respect, with the primary goal of making each child feel secure, appreciated, and deeply valued. The caregiving curriculum provides one-on-one time for every child, focusing on daily routines, language development, emotional well-being, and bodily awareness. An emergent curriculum allows children to explore their environment and promotes individualized learning experiences.

Each child receives an individual care program, shaped by sensitive observations and collaboration with parents to ensure their unique needs are met. Communication with parents is transparent through electronic portfolios, offering real-time updates on their child’s routine and activities.

The program is run by qualified and experienced carers and educators who undergo continuous training, including by a certified sleep consultant, to provide high-quality care and support. Overall, this infant care program offers a nurturing, personalised, and educationally rich environment for children and fosters strong collaboration with parents

For more information please contact AIS here