Childhealthy’s Newsletter: Bedtime Routines For Children

Welcome to Childhealthy’s latest update. As the summer holidays come to a close, this month we focus on sleep and healthy bedtime routines for children of all ages. 

Sleep, healthy eating and regular physical activity are the cornerstones of healthy living. Over the past few weeks, high temperatures and record heat waves have made it more difficult for everyone to get their full night's sleep. As we all return to our usual routines after the summer, this month we provide parents with tips on how you can help your children of all ages improve their sleep.

Please share this newsletter with anyone you think would benefit from our updates. Our goal is to provide families across the country with practical and valuable advice. Please also follow and like us on Facebook and Instagram. We greatly appreciate any feedback you may have and use it to improve these updates. Are there any topics or questions you would like this newsletter to cover? Please email and we will aim to include this in the next update.



How many hours of sleep do children need?

The number of hours your child needs to sleep depends on age. As your child grows older, the number of hours they need will gradually decrease. Generally, a baby needs anywhere from 8 hours up to 18 hours, a toddler will need around 12 to 14 hours of sleep a day. This can include their daytime naps. Children between the age of 3 and 5 require 11 to 12 hours of sleep. School-age children need 10 to 11 hours of sleep, which leaves teenagers who need 9 to 10 hours. This is a general rule of thumb so try not to worry too much if your child sleeps slightly less or more than the average. 

See our table for reference:

For more information, please read our article: How much sleep does my baby need?

What causes sleep problems in children?

There are many different reasons why your child might not be able to sleep. Some common causes include:

  • Separation anxiety and bedtime fears
  • Too much screen time or stimulation before bed
  • Bedroom too warm, cold or noisy
  • A lack of routine
  • Conditions such as sleep apnoea due to enlarged adenoids, reflux, wind, colic and threadworms can all be causes

Please contact us if you are concerned that there may be an underlying medical condition affecting your baby or child's sleep.

Signs that your child isn't getting enough sleep

If you are worried your child is not getting enough sleep, they will exhibit some common signs, such as:

  • Sleeping while in the car
  • Difficulty waking up in the morning
  • Trouble concentrating both at home and in school
  • Crankier - and more irritable than usual
  • Enhanced drowsiness much earlier than their usual bedtime

However, this may depend on their age, how often they exhibit this behaviour and the circumstances. If your child is frequently experiencing the above and you are concerned, please contact your GP or paediatrician. 

How to get your child to go to sleep

We understand that struggling to get your child to sleep can be difficult. Therefore, we have compiled a list of tips and tricks to help you take the stress out of this situation:

  • Help your child feel at ease with their favourite toy or comforter before they settle into bed. 
  • Create a consistent bedtime routine. Start by choosing what time you would like your child to go to bed.
  • If your child gets out of bed, simply return them with minimal fuss. Repeat this if it happens again.
  • Keep a night light on if necessary, and make sure your child has a cup of water within reach to help them avoid getting up. 

Tips for if your child will not sleep without you

Separation anxiety is common in children between the ages of 6 months and 3 years. It is a natural part of a child’s development and usually, they will grow out of it. During this time, you may find your child struggling to sleep without you. If this is something your child struggles with, we recommend using the following tips:

  • Follow a regular and consistent bedtime routine. 
  • Pat, stroke, or kiss your child when you put them to bed. Promise to return in a few moments to give them another kiss. 
  • Return immediately to kiss them, then leave the room after promising to return. After a few moments, go back again and kiss them. 
  • Keep repeating this until they fall asleep. If they wake during the night, repeat this action.

Tips for improving your child's sleep

Below are some more tips to improve your child's sleep in general. You may have to try a few of these out before you find a solution that works best for your child. Don't give up hope! It requires a lot of patience, but the important thing to remember is you are not alone. 

  • Set a regular bedtime. 
  • Create a bedtime routine to put your child at ease. This could include reading a story to them before bed.
  • Ensure their room is at a comfortable temperature and dark. Keep noise to a minimum.
  • Avoid the use of electronic devices before bed.
  • Don't give your children food or drink with caffeine less than six hours before bed. 

When to seek help

If you have tried the following tips outlined above and are struggling to see any progress, you may need to seek additional help from your child's GP or paediatrician. If you would like to find out how we can help you, don't hesitate to contact us via our website.

New Childhealthy pages

Eczema In Children And Babies: Learn all about eczema in babies and children with this blog; covering signs and causes, treatments, and tips.

Childhealthy updates 

Vaccinations - Now is a good time to start thinking about getting your child booked in for their annual Flu vaccination. The Flu Vaccine is available for all children ages 6 months and above.  Our services are set to commence this autumn from October onwards, so do consider securing your slot early for peace of mind. Book an appointment here.

Polio Booster Campaign - if you have any questions about Polio Booster vaccines, please refer to our previous newsletter for more information. You may also wish to read this quick FAQ from the Uk Government. 

Exciting developments at Childhealthy - There are lots of exciting developments currently happening here at Childhealthy. With lots of exciting projects in the works which we look forward to sharing, new team members that we can’t wait to introduce, and more useful advice content on the way, there is much to look forward to. In the meantime, we wish you all a happy and healthy month ahead!

How to reach us

Follow us on our social channels for regular updates from the Childhealthy team, and as always please do let us know about any topics you want to see covered via email –

We hope you have had a lovely summer, wishing you all the best.

Dr Yiannis and the Childhealthy team