Any parent will tell you that when your child sleeps through, the whole family feel better. There's something sacred about getting a whole night of sleep that makes you feel like you can face the day ahead with a spring in your step. However, getting to the stage where your kids sleep well isn't always something that happens easily.
What worked for you with your children? Do you have any tips for a good bedtime routine, or any ideas for helping children to sleep better at night. We'd love to hear your suggestions.
I think no two children are the same and so unfortunately, there is not one fail safe trick that will work for all children. I am a big believer that a good bedtime routine makes a huge difference and provides consistency and cues that will help a child fall into a wind down before bedtime. For me this includes a bath, storytime, songs and then to bed, and this definitely helps to calm the atmosphere.
We found co-sleeping was the only way to ensure any sleep when our son was small.... even now (he's nearly four) we often have one parent sleeping with him, as this guarantees better sleep for everyone. It often seems odd to me that adults are expected by society to share their bed with another person (married couples who admit to sleeping in separate beds get some very negative responses!) but conversely children are expected to sleep alone. In my experience, a small person needs the loving presence of another person to sleep well more than a big one does!
In addition to this, I find a good bedtime routine essential and being as firm as possible with sticking to bedtime. If a child gets overtired, then falling asleep becomes next to impossible!
I think a good bedtime routine can help avoid a few of the meltdowns that often occur at this time. Bath, book, bed is an easy routine and something that even the youngest of children can start to anticipate.