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10 tips to help your child fall asleep

Lack of sleep is no fun.

After I posted this Carl’s Life Cartoon post yesterday, I thought I should expand on our lack of sleep story.

Our daughters have always been pretty good at falling asleep, even from when they were babies, so when our 8 year old started having trouble falling asleep at night, we were unsure of what to do.

It was taking 3-4 hours for her to be able to fall asleep, which was causing some frustration for everyone in our home.

I researched online, I talked to friends, I prayed, I cried, I vented…it just seemed so hard to deal with.

I even got to the point of feeling guilty because I know there are parents who are struggling with things that are way harder than having their child fall asleep at night, but what I was feeling was real and hard, so I decided to share it here in case others experience the same thing.

10 tips to help your child fall asleep

After about 5-6 weeks, things have finally been getting better.

I have no miracle answer, but I did want to share the things we tried before bed, also as a reference for me to look back on if needed. (This list includes affiliate links).

  1. Routine
  2. Quiet, soothing music
  3. Magnesium
  4. Warm Milk  (we used the warm milk chewable since my daughter would not drink warm milk)
  5. Eat a small potato – It helps your body raise your serotonin level, you can read the book Potatoes Not Prozac for more info on this.
  6. Epsom salt bath
  7. Prayer
  8. Warm barley/rice bag (sometimes with a drop of lavender essential oil)
  9. Patience
  10. Talk through what bedtime will look like during the day time – Have the child say audibly what they would like to happen ie: “After my bath, I will go in my bed and listen to my music and then I will close my eyes and relax and soon fall asleep”.

Children need sleep – below is a suggestion chart of appropriate bedtimes for children – all children are different, but you may find this guide helpful.

what time should my child go to bed? Here is a chart to help.

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Have you gone through a period of time with your child when they could not fall asleep at night?

What are some of the things that you tried?

Moms, you may also like these 3 tips for getting enough sleep.

This after-school routine clock may help your evenings run smoother.

routine clock square

ryan reed

Tuesday 9th of May 2023

Uuuuh it’s kind of pointless listing bed times with out wake up times, what’s the recommended amount of sleep? My child has to get up at 6am, so is 9pm enough for a 10 year old. This article is incomplete.

Looks like other people mentioned the missing information regarding wake times, and you side stepped their question.

Maybe a little more research before posting recommendations next time.


Friday 24th of August 2018

Ok so it says my 16 year old should go to b d at 10:30 but he needs to be up at 5:30. 7 hours of sleep is NOT enough for a teen especially if they are active in sports and other activities.

Thursday 23rd of August 2018

Well if my kids go to bed at 7 they will be up at 4am, no thankyou. My 5 and 2 year old go to bed by 9 or 9:30pm and wake up between 8 and 9m, that's fine for me


Wednesday 6th of September 2017

A good article, but as a secondary school teacher I would question the bedtime ages for teenagers. Sleep helps consolidate memories and information and most teenagers still need at least 10 hours sleep per night to achieve their academic best. It may seem counterintuitive (they have so much to do, they don't have time to go to bed early!), but a bedtime between 9:30 and 10:30 will help them be more productive in the long term (finishing homework etc more quickly because they have more focus and energy) once they work off the sleep debt most teens carry around.


Wednesday 9th of August 2017

I use melotonin, but found I would wake up in the middle of the night. Often melotonin pills have dosages that are way to high, especially for children. There is a time release melotonin pill that has only 1milligram and I've found it helps me sleep the whole night through with happy dreams.


Wednesday 9th of August 2017

By the way, the brand is Natrol and I bought it via Amazon.