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How do you manage your family's sleep struggles? Share your tips and stories below - £200 voucher to be won

64 replies

MaddyMumsnet · 01/03/2024 10:38

This thread is now closed.

Sleep struggles are a common challenge for many families, whether it's getting little ones to settle, or dealing with night wakings. From establishing bedtime routines to soothing techniques, we want to hear what has helped you and your family get a better night's sleep. Whether you've tried gentle sleep training methods, incorporated white noise, or discovered the magic of a bedtime story, your insights could make all the difference to another Mumsnet user. 

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OP posts:
sharond101 · 01/03/2024 13:39

My 11 year old sometimes struggles to get to sleep. I find taking him out of his bedroom and doing a short activiy like a card game or a run in the car helps him get out of the panic of getting to sleep and then he manages much better.

marniemae · 01/03/2024 20:21

My 5 year old really struggled to sleep about a year ago, we purchased soundproof and blackout blinds they were quite pricy but soo worth it he sleeps through the night now, it's completely changed our life's not running on broken sleep anymore

TonsleyB · 01/03/2024 20:42

The best thing we found were baby sleeping bags. My daughter always used to kick off her bedclothes and wake up cold and crying and the sleeping bag stopped all that- I wished I had known about them earlier!

buckley1983 · 01/03/2024 23:29

A consistent bedtime routine really helped us when our son was younger - TV off at 6pm, bath, book & bed. The distractions of multiple screens make this harder these days - especially as kids get older, but I try & ensure we are all active during the day to make sure everyone feels tired at night - even just a walk round the block together is a good start.
When our son does struggle to sleep now, I often find just lying with him & reading aloud for a bit gets him to drop off. Listening to rain sounds or other soothing soundscapes can be useful too (lots of free apps for this).
For me, it's no caffeine after 6pm - I still love a bath before bed & a few chapters of my book - even as an adult - bath, book & bed works for me! :)

Opinione · 01/03/2024 23:38

My kids are teens so it's

No screens for an hour before bed.
A consistent routine of snack, pjs, teeth, read a book in bed.

StickChildNumberTwo · 01/03/2024 23:52

My daughter loves her weighted blanket and says it helps her sleep.

ButterOllocks · 03/03/2024 11:12

A wind time hour before bed and set and stick to a bed time, I used to use johnsons bedtime bath around 6 and bed at 7 and MOST of the time this would work.

DinkyDaffodil · 03/03/2024 11:27

I take mine to bed and ask them what dream they would like and tell them a story about their dream, before that it is CBeebies, warm milk and teeth brushed and bed - we have a nightlight for my youngest and he has a baby blanket which comforts him

lillypopdaisyduke · 04/03/2024 06:58

We have a wind down time after 6 ish, where things are quieter, I found that using a Sensory Compression single bed sheet helps, my DC says its an all night cuddle.

JacCharlton · 04/03/2024 07:13

I can recommended a white noise machine it's only about 12 cm and produces a ambient light and 20 white noise sounds, I could sense baby tuning in to it, it is usb charged and we can take it out if we need to.

chickenpotnoodle · 04/03/2024 07:21

We go for a walk after dinner, about six (weather permitting) to look at things and talk about what we are seeing, then its a relaxing bath, a quiet environment, and bed for 7.30 - we found a white noise machine helps if they stir - we leave them to settle. It's only when they begin to cry that we would go onto the bedroom to settle them, but this is m0re seldom nowadays

jacqui5366 · 04/03/2024 10:41

I think it is essential to have a set bedtime and boundaries, and a routine with light and noise reducing curtains. I found that a weighted blanket helped when DS kept coming to find me in the night. Talk to them about sleep, and that their room is just the cosiest place to be.

ohdannyboy · 04/03/2024 10:55

We have learned that not overstimulating little minds has really helped, making sure things are quieter, and we can read a book, and talk quieter, then a quiet bedroom, with a nightlight and a weighted blanket does the trick (most of the time). We also watch what foods they eat - not sure if it is linked but red grapes after tea seemed to correlate with nightmares

TrumpetOfTheMatriarchy · 04/03/2024 11:31

I'm a firm believer of in bed for some reading before lights off. Mine are now 8, 11 and 13 and have a great evening routine.

youareonlyhereonce · 04/03/2024 11:38

The bedroom has to be thought of, not too stimulating, but enough to feel safe and comfortable, we have a radiator but set the temp to be cool, but not cold. We have a white noise speaker next to the cot, and blackout blinds. A set routine is a must with bath, reading and bed for 7 -7.30 🕢

0hNoNotAgain · 04/03/2024 11:56

I found having the bedroom as a calm environment helped - muted colours rather than the bright colours that often get suggested for childrens bedrooms, not too many distractions like mobiles/photos etc.
A couple of favourite soft toys (but not all their toys in there - again, too distracting if they wake up) plus blackout blinds, a comfortable (not too warm) room temperature.
Then a good bedtime routine - nothing too stimulating after their bath followed by a bedtime story and - this is key - your voice has to slow down and get a bit lower in tone as you read so that they calm down and fall asleep. Worked for me !

Lighter22 · 04/03/2024 12:18

We've found that a consistent bedtime routine is key for our 19 month old twins - bath, bottle, book, cuddles and lights off.

After bath, we also use the Kokoso baby coconut oil to moisturise, which just smells gorgeous and the scent helps them relax. Would definitely recommend!

Kokoso Baby Coconut Oil - 168g - Boots

Shop Kokoso Baby Coconut Oil 168g. Collect Advantage Card points for every £1 you spend, or Join the Boots Parenting Club to collect more points when you stock up on Baby essentials.

rumhamm · 04/03/2024 13:21

I've been through a lot of sleep challenges with my eldest (now 13) from consistent night waking, not wanting to fall asleep alone, being afraid of the dark and sleep talking and walking!
Having either rain sounds/white noise was a godsend as well as mindfulness stories which I'd play as he was going to sleep. And always making sure I was emotionally available before bed as that seems to be when he would share his worries!

He grew out of needing these only about.. 2 years ago? And now sleeps fine. Finally!

chickenpotnoodle · 04/03/2024 13:39

I think anything which plays background white noise is something which should be tried if you baby wakes during the night (not wanting a change or feed)

MabelMaybe · 04/03/2024 15:33

We still get disturbed 2 or 3 times a night by our 5 year old, who is also an early riser. We try to have one adult who does the night waking and another who does the early wake up, so you get one joy of young child sleeping or the other but rarely both.

voyager50 · 04/03/2024 17:31

Playing a meditation cd really helped with a 3 year old who wouldn't nod off - my friend had suggested it as it worked for her daughter.

AlisonWonderbra · 04/03/2024 17:36

I've never slept well in my life!

I get up at 5am on work days and regularly do a 12hr shift on less than 4hrs of sleep. I constantly feel exhausted and to be honest I think I'm cutting my life short with this schedule, bug I just don't see a way out of it.

My youngest child (4) is autistic and settles well in his own bed but is always in with us by morning. He didn't sleep through at all until he was 2.i don't think I'll ever pay off that sleep debt.


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LittleDeeAndME · 05/03/2024 08:06

White noise - there are so many rechargeable speakers around, and a weighted blanket, I tell my DS it is mummys cuddle and seems to work (after a year of trying things and strategies)

flowersfromheaven · 05/03/2024 08:27

I lay with my children and we tell each other a story, Rooms in darkness and we don't read from a book, I let her tell her story first and then me, most of the time she askes for another story but by time I have finished second story she is asleep. I think children just need to know they are not on their own at bedtime.

MumC2141 · 05/03/2024 18:54

Bedtime routine and sleep story from calm app.

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