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Child asleep in bed

How to Help Your Child Sleep

Quality sleep is an essential part of your child’s overall good health. Just like adults, children need to get enough high-quality sleep to be happy, alert and attentive during the day. A tired child may suffer from medical, developmental or behavioral problems.

Child lying in bed awake

Does Your Child Have a Sleep Disorder?

How do you know if your child has a sleep disorder? The American Academy of Sleep medicine lists several symptoms that may indicate that a problem exists with your child’s sleep:

  • Does your child snore?
  • Is your child a mouth breather?
  • Has your child been diagnosed with ADHD, or have behavioral or attention problems?
  • Is your child’s sleep restless?
  • Does your child have issues going to bed or staying in bed or trouble during sleep such as bed wetting?

Father reading a book to a child at bedtime

Sleep Dos and Don’ts for Kids

To help your child sleep you should, follow a consistent routine. Here are some tips to get started.


  • Allow 10-30 minutes of quiet activity every night before bed. Try reading, simple songs, storytelling, a gentle back rub or a bath.
  • Establish a relaxing setting at bedtime.
  • Begin to lay your child down drowsy without additional holding or rocking after your baby signals a wake/eat/sleep pattern (usually 3-4mos).

Do Not:

  • Substitute television or videos for personal interaction at bedtime.
  • Let your child fall asleep with a bottle or while nursing, being held or rocked.
  • Give them food and drinks containing caffeine and other stimulants.

It is also essential to discuss bedtime routine with babysitters and other caregivers, so the established method remains in place consistently.

Having trouble with your own sleep? Check out these apps!