“How to Get My Child to Sleep” 

I’m focusing this week on my blog on Sleep. Before you get excited I’ve not discovered the elusive magical answer to a full night sleep nor am I an expert in helping children to go to sleep. But I am an expert and frequent ‘googler’ of “how to get my child to sleep”, an experienced person in the art of struggling to function with sleep deprivation and a frequent buyer of coffee and concealer.

I’ve experienced what I call the ‘floaty floor’ level of sleep deprivation (where literally the floor feels like it’s moving) and I’ve been the parent with her emergency can of coke and snack at toddler groups to help me function (and not faint).

Like many parents I’ve nursed two babies in the night through illness and teething. I’ve cuddled and sat up with my toddler during night terrors and eczema flare ups. I’ve managed to look after  my toddler and newborn by myself with less than two hours sleep. And I’ve done the 5am get ups in the summer when my toddler has thought it was “morning time”.

My intention is not to complain or ‘boast’ about my lack of sleep, but to show others who’s baby/child doesn’t sleep through the night..that they are not alone. 

I’ve tried various routines, strategies, soft toys and books. Some have worked, some haven’t. I’ve learnt that each child is different and what works for one doesn’t necessarily work for the other. I’ve also learnt that with time, some sleep challenges have gone, others evolved and new ones surfaced.

What I also know is, although I’ve not had it easy with sleep over the last 4 years with my young family- I’m lucky as sleep is improving as my children are getting older. This is something that I shouldn’t and will not take for granted. From discussions with parents of the children with Special Educational Needs (SEN) whom I’ve worked with, my eyes have been opened to the fact that for some parents sleep problems for their children can continue throughout childhood and beyond.

I’m not going to pretend to know what that’s like.

My aim this week as part of my ‘Sleep’ focus on my blog, is to show products on the market that have helped my family gain some extra sleep and feature what has worked for others: bringing experiences of other parents.

Have a read of this guest post by ‘Sensational Learning with Penguin ‘ to find out her trials and errors with sleep with her autistic little boy. 


– See what we thought to this teddy that claims to re-settle children back to sleep here..


We’d love to hear your experiences too. Do your children sleep well? What has worked for you? Tell us in the comments section below (I always reply!) 

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34 thoughts on ““How to Get My Child to Sleep” 

  1. Great idea for a focus, sleep is really important. We worked hard to put a routine in place early, and adjusted it as our daughter got older. We have had a bit of luck, but we also worked hard. She sleeps really well. I wrote a post about our routine a couple of months ago, if you are interested? #FamilyFunLinky

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  2. I was lulled into a false sense of security as my eldest sleeps really well. However, my youngest has never slept through a night! It seems to vary so much from child to child. What works for one child, doesn’t work at all for another. I’ve read the sleep books, googled advice and I’m still none the wiser! So I feel your pain, but I’m not much help with ideas I’m afraid. I think you’re right though, it’s good to know you’re not alone. #DreamTeam

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    1. Sounds like we are in this together! So so true about how each child is different, just when you think you’ve sorted Sleep, it’s like you’re starting over again. Thanks for your comment and hope you get sleep soon!!

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  3. My brother was born severely disabled and sleep was a massive massive problem for my mum 20 year ago. Getting him to sleep, keeping him asleep and the morning were such hard work. She was permanently knackered. I really wish she had things like this and the tools we have today at her disposal. I am not saying it would have solved everything but it would have certainly helped, to know she’s not alone if nothing else. Thank you for joining us at #familyfun

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    1. That must have been so hard for your mum and you’re whole family. Sleeps so vital to emotional and physical wellbeing isn’t it. Completely agree that social media is of a real benefit to so many people now it helping them feel less isolated in situations and it’s a great platform to share suggestions and ideas to help each other out. Thanks for your comment, much appreciated.

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  4. I am going through “floaty floor” level deprivation right now with baby #3 who is a terrible sleeper and still rarely ever sleeps through (STILL!) at 16 months! I’ve written a couple of posts about this myself (albeit a bit more sweary and a bit less constructive than this) I am currently at the “will try ANYTHING” stage, so this post has come in handy with some new ideas on how to end the sleepless horror! Hope you catch some Zzz’s soon! xx #blogstravanganza

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    1. This comment made me laugh so much! ‘More sweary and a bit less constructive’ haha!! Although the actual sleep deprivation is nothing to laugh at, hope you get some sleep soon too! Come back and tell me if you discover the answer to more sleep and if any of these help 😊 Xx

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  5. Well, you know my experiences 😉 And sleep (or rather the lack of!) is obviously a subject that engages many, and something that many of us struggle with…
    One thing that I didn’t mention in my post is weighted blankets. We’ve got one, and I had such high hopes for it, but it hasn’t lived up to what I was hoping for, at all.😐 However, the last couple of nights it’s been back in use, on Penguin’s own initiative, so maybe there will be some use for it after all?? Thank you again for letting me share our story 🙂 xx
    #thesatsesh

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    1. Ooh fingers crossed it works. Often child initiated strategies are the best and most successful. Sounds promising. I’ve heard good things about weighted blankets and ASD in particular. Let me know how it goes. Thanks again for sharing your wonderfully honest and beautifully written blog post on my blog.

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  6. Although ours can be difficult to settle they usually sleep well once they are down. I don’t miss that floaty floor at all (never heard it described as that before but it sums it up perfectly?). Hope things improve for you soon. #satsesh

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      1. I’d forgotten about it until reading this post but yep, really disorienting. We made sure the youngest didn’t nap today. She was miserable for hours before bedtime but was asleep within minutes. Now we just have to figure out which situation is worse… 😂

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  7. My first daughter was a superstar sleeper and always slept through the night from very early on. My 14-month-old, however, is very different. She still wakes up several times a night. I have never been as tired as I have been in the last year or so and I can tell you now, I’ve Googled “how to get my baby to sleep” a few hundred times!! Just as you have found, there doesn’t seem to be any magic solution. I just have to keep on hoping that one day (soon?!) she’ll decide to sleep through the night.

    #thesatsesh

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    1. Just goes to show when one child sleeps so well and the other does that it’s often not our fault! V reassuring! I’m sure like you say, your 14 month old will suddenly decide to sleep..hopefully soon!! I’m currently trying out ‘my hummy’ with mine- will be on my blog this week so watch this space! Thanks for commenting

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  8. There is definitely a comfort in knowing that you are not alone when it comes to lack of sleep (not that I want you to have no sleep either, but you know what I mean). It’s so hard isn’t it. I know that floaty feeling where the room is spinning, but you can’t give in and have to haul yourself through the day. These days are so difficult, but it does get better eventually. We still have a few dips so I’ll keep an eye out for your tips! Thanks for joining us for the #DreamTeam x

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  9. This is a great idea and sleep deprivation is the absolute worst. I think I lived most of the first year in a foggy, caffeine and cake fuelled haze, but your right it does get easier as they get older. Thanks so much for linking up at #fortheloveofBLOG. Claire x

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  10. #thesatsesh i have a only child for a reason – he has slept through the night since he was 6 weeks old, he eats well and i know id never be blessed twice. I really believe its about the individual child rather than any technique, or parent skill.

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