Safer Sleep

Safer Sleep

Sleep Matters!

Sleep is especially important for babies and young children because it helps with mental, physical, social and emotional development. Sleep helps our brains to remember, memorise and analyse important information. 

Sleep can also be tricky! You might be asking yourself ‘does my child get enough sleep?’ or ‘do they sleep at the right times?’ and it is completely normal to ask these questions. Sleep does more than just affect mood, it plays an essential role in a child’s brain function and cognitive development.  

Lots of young children find it difficult to settle down to sleep and will wake up during the night. 

If you or your child are suffering from lack of sleep, there are some simple things you can try. Every child is different, so only do what you feel comfortable with and what you think will suit your child. 

  • Decide what time you want your child to go to bed. 
  • Start a 'winding down' routine around 30 minutes before the time that your child usually falls asleep. Bring this forward by 5 to 10 minutes each week- or 15 minutes if your child is in the habit of going to bed very late- until you get the bedtime you want. 
  • Set a limit on how much time you spend with your child when you put them to bed. For example, read only 1 story, then tuck your child in and say goodnight. 
  • Give your child their favourite toy or comforter before settling into bed. 
  • Leave a dim light on if necessary. 
  • If your child gets up, keep taking them back to bed again with as little fuss as possible. 
  • Try to be consistent. 
  • You may have to repeat this routine for several nights. 

Further support and advice 

Talk to your health visitor if you need further advice. They may have other ideas or suggest you make an appointment with your GP. 

For more information on sleep, visit Nursery World to find out what sleep is, why it is important, how children sleep and how they are affected by lack of sleep.  

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toddler and child sleeping next to eachother

The Lullaby Trust raises awareness of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), provides expert advice on safer sleep for babies and offers emotional support for bereavedThe Lullaby Trust logo families.



The charity Scope provides information and advice around sleep for disabled children, including the golden hour, relaxing bedtimes, bedtime activities and how to support with bedtime anxiety.   

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Last Updated on Tuesday, April 2, 2024

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