How to Get your Child to Sleep

My son, John, at 3 weeks

For all the obvious reasons, we want our children to sleep. They need it to be healthy, grow, and fight off illnesses. Parents need it to remember where we left our car keys. But it’s not always easy to make it happen. If your child is not falling or staying asleep consistently, then read on to discover how to catch those Zzzzz’s!

  • Create a routine so they know what’s coming and that it’s time to go to sleep: Children need at least 11 – 14 hours of sleep including naps a day. Disruptions in their routine will throw them off and make it harder to sleep. When my son was a preschooler, we had a strict schedule that began at 6PM…dinner, bath, potty, 3 stories with Mom or Dad (once he was old enough, he chose which books for us to read and who he wanted to read them), one song, one hug, and then we got up and left, leaving his door cracked open half way.  If he tried to stall, we still told him we loved him and left.
  • If your child is sick or starts to develop allergies, try these two tricks: Asthma, allergies, and other illnesses can cause coughing, which makes it hard to fall asleep. Try putting a humidifier in their room and lay them on their side while falling asleep. Both of these made a huge difference for our son.
  • Teddy bears, pacifiers, and white noise machines…good or bad?: Some people say to not allow pacifiers in bed (our son sucked his thumb) because they invariably fall out of their mouth during the night. My sister used to entertain me with stories of how she would put her son’s pacifier back in his mouth by crawling on the floor like a Navy Seal so he wouldn’t see her. She also left at least six pacifiers littered around him so that with little effort, he could find another. She eventually weaned him off of it. White noise machines at the minimum will filter other noises that may wake them up. A special blanket or teddy bear works, too.
  • Setting the stage: Make sure there are no lights on in your child’s room other than possibly a very low night light. Children look for light to figure out if it’s time to wake up. Also, make sure they won’t get overheated or cold. With the weather constantly changing in Texas, wearing the right thing to bed can make a big difference.
  • No screens: My son loved to watch videos on his phone before going to bed. Notice that “loved” is in past tense. After a few nights of that, we noticed he was moody and looked tired, so our new rule was that his phone had to be in our room while charging at night.

As we say at our school often, “Freedom within boundaries.” That is our learning environment philosophy at Sunrise Montessori and it works well for helping your child to sleep. By setting a routine and the right environment, your child can experience a good night’s sleep…and so can you. 😉

References used:

Sunrise Montessori Preschool has two locations in Round Rock. Interested in learning first hand what we can offer your child? Then book a tour on our website at or call us so you can discover why Sunrise Montessori Preschool is where YOUR family belongs!