10 tips

for parents with small children

Sleep is something pleasant.

Never use sleep as a threat or form of punishment (“... otherwise you’ll be sent to bed early!”), but always present it as something enjoyable and positive.

Give advance notice of when it will be bedtime

Tell your child in advance, before he or she is due to go to bed, instead of abruptly interrupting their play. “You can play for another 10 minutes, and then it’s bedtime”.


Be calm

Communicate to your child that you will stop what you’re doing at the same time as they do. In that way, they won’t have the feeling that they’re missing out on anything.

Maintain rituals

Small children calm down better when the hour before going to sleep always repeats itself in the same way. Talk about the day, read something or have a cuddle. It’s up to you how you use the time.  


Plan bedtimes together

Sit down with your child and create a plan together using pictures for everything to do with bedtime, and hang it up in their bedroom.

Midday quiet time

Your child should only be told to take a nap at midday if they want to. If not, don't force them to do so. Instead, take a break at midday with a quiet activity, such as looking at a picture book.

Getting to sleep and sleeping through the night alone

If children learn to get to sleep on their own, they are better able to quieten down again at night without help if they wake up. However, if children always go to sleep in the presence of their parents and wake up at night, they are often unable to get back to sleep without their parents’ help.


Make the family bed an exception

If children permanently sleep in their parents’ bed, it may be good for the bonding process, but it is also detrimental to their sense of independence. It’s better to make this an exception, e.g. when your child is ill or frightened.


Wean your child off his or her dummy

To make it easier to stop your child sucking their dummy, you can call on the dummy fairy, for example, and swap the dummy for a small gift at night. 

Keep your needs in mind

You too are tired and exhausted in the evening. If your child want their 10th sip of water or 20th goodnight kiss, you're well within your rights to say: “That’s enough, I’m tired!”