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A bedtime routine can help make bedtime easier.

Sometimes your child will fall asleep easily and sleep through the night. At other times they may have difficulty falling asleep and may wake in the night. 

A bedtime routine can help make bedtime easier.

You can plan ahead by:

  • Thinking about timing. If your child takes a long time to fall asleep you might be putting them to bed too early. If they get too wound up to sleep you might be putting them to bed too late.
  • Having a consistent bedtime routine. Do the same thing every night at the same time. Find the routine that works for your family.
  • Letting your child know bedtime is coming up. When we have finished this game it will be time to get ready for bed”.
  • Avoiding too much stimulation before bed. Try to avoid loud or boisterous play or screen-based activity like TV, computers, tablets or other handheld devices. Focus on activities that help your child feel calm. You might also like to think about what your child has eaten and how that might affect their sleep.
  • Checking your child has done everything they need, to avoid them calling out during the night. Have they had a drink? Been to the toilet? Got their favourite teddy?
  • Giving them a safe thing to take to bed like a teddy, or blanket. Leave a night light on or leave the door ajar. Then tuck your child in and say goodnight.
  • If your child keeps getting out of bed, think about if there is anything else they may need (this might be you). Return your child gently and calmly to their bed. Do this as many times as it takes until your child stays in bed.

Where to get advice and support

Universal parenting support and advice is provided by midwives, health visitors, GPs and your local authority. Early help programmes such as Flying Start (if you live in a Flying Start area) and Families First are also available.

Look after yourself. Meeting up with other parents can be great for your wellbeing. Your local Family Information Service ( will be able to tell you what’s on in your area.