Tips for bad sleepers

Young children often struggle to sleep. They may refuse to go to bed or sleep, they may struggle to fall asleep or wake up scared in the middle of the night. That is not fun for your child. It can also affect your own sleep, resulting in fatigue and stress.

This section contains several tips to help your child sleep better. When reading all of these tips, keep in mind the following:

Choose what suits you best.

Choose the tips you feel would work best for you and your child.

When trying something new, don’t give up!

Bear in mind it may take one to three weeks for a new rule or approach to work. Don’t give up if you don’t succeed straight away. Your child needs time to adapt. At first, they may even become more difficult. Don’t give up, just keep going! Eventually, your efforts will pay off!


Write down in your diary when you’ve started something new. Then mark a ‘deadline’ three weeks later. Once you reach that date, check whether your approach worked. In the meantime, try not to give up.

Tell yourself it’s all temporary!

When it comes to sleeping, many children go through a bad patch, but it eventually passes. It is just temporary. Every now and then, remind yourself it’s just a phase. That might help you not to give up. In this section you will find some tips to help you through this difficult time.

Find support

Raising children can be hard, so it’s always nice to have a little help.

Do you live with your partner? Or is there anyone who comes over to help you every now and then? Discuss which tips you can use to help your child sleep better. It’s important for you to be on the same wavelength. That will ensure your child clearly knows what is expected of them. It can also help to agree on who will tuck them in when. And also who will check on them when they struggle to sleep. That will give you or the other person a chance to relax a little and enjoy a good night’s sleep. Help each other get through this exhausting time together.

Do you live on your own? Then try to find support elsewhere in your surroundings, for example from your mother, neighbour or friend. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Maybe your child can have a sleepover somewhere? Do you feel guilty because your mother, neighbour or friend might struggle to sleep that night? Try not to. If they know they can help you out, most people won’t mind.