Sleeping & Night-time

How much sleep do babies and young children need?

Knowing how much sleep your baby or child needs may be…

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Creating a bedtime routine for your child

Try to create a routine which is relaxing and calming (such…

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Getting young children ready for bed

A regular, predictable sleep schedule is a brilliant tool for helping…

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Baby sleep checklist

It’s natural to feel anxious when your baby won’t settle –…

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Feeding your baby at night

Little and often feeds are normal – including through the night…

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Why has my baby’s sleep routine changed?

How much, how often and when babies sleep can change from…

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Safer sleep advice for babies

We follow the Lullaby Trust‘s advice for safer sleep for babies:…

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Helping your baby to settle (under three months)

The fact is, nearly all babies need a little help to…

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Tips to help your baby to settle (3-6 months)

Here are some tips to help your baby settle: It can…

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Helping babies aged 6 months + to get to sleep

For babies 6 months+ Put your baby to sleep awake. This…

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What temperature should my baby’s room be?

We recommend the Lullaby Trust’s information on the safest baby room…

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Common sleep problems for young children

Not staying in bed or not sleeping A bedtime routine is…

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Where should my baby sleep?

For the first six months we recommend your baby sleeps in…

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Helping your disabled child to sleep

Contact is great charity and resource for families with disabled children.  Their…

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Coping with night terrors

Night terrors Night terrors usually start between the ages of 3…

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Coping with nightmares

Nightmares Nightmares typically start between the ages of 3 and 6.…

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Sleeping & Night-time

Coping with nightmares

Nightmares

Nightmares typically start between the ages of 3 and 6. Most children grow out of having them frequently, but they’re something we all have now and again.
Nightmares take place during deep sleep – usually in the early hours. Unlike night terrors, they can be remembered (along with feelings of fear or unease) after waking. They can also occur after seeing, reading or hearing something scary, or if the child is anxious.

Handling nightmares

  • Acknowledge that you can see how scared your child is.
  • Tell or read a soothing bedtime story, or sing some favourite songs or rhymes together.
  • Encourage them to have a favourite soft toy in bed to cuddle.
  • Ask them what their favourite part of the day has been, or what made them laugh today.
  • Talk through what they might like to dream about. If they’ve woken from a flashback or scary dream, encourage them to ‘switch the channel’ like they would on the TV and choose a ‘happy dream’ channel.
  • Ask them to imagine the bad dream being locked away in a box. Imagine the box being taken away on a big truck, loaded onto a big ship, sailing out to sea then being dropped over the side. See it sinking down, down, down to the bottom of the deep, deep ocean.
  • Gentle touch can be very soothing for children who enjoy being touched. Try slowly stroking down the child’s arm from shoulder to hand, stroking the face or using slow stroking or circular hand movements on the child’s back.
  • Talk through a muscle relaxation exercise. Ask them to tighten each set of muscles, hold for a few seconds and then let go. Notice how the muscles become soft and relaxed. Start with the toes then the legs, bottom, tummy, shoulders, arms, hands and finally the face.

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