Why is my child not sleeping through the night? About thewe asked this question in our last Blogpost spoken to sleep coach Katharina from "Katie's Little Night Owl". Today we'll go into a few more questions that are frequently asked in this context and you'll find out how you can identify factors for sleep problems and eliminate them in the long term!

< span class="NormalTextRun SCXW142713441 BCX4">Baby with cheesecloth

How important is the sleep routine for the quality of sleep? 

A consistent routine with a reliable process is the key to solving and preventing sleep problems. It is particularly important for children that from a certain point in the day, e.g. For example, at dinner, the same thing always happens. In this way, the children know exactly what to expect and get used to it. It helps if the evening routine includes something to look forward to and something that comes down on the body at the same time  

Very important: The routine to fall asleep shouldn't be stressed or hectic. So give yourself enough time for this. Giving the child the feeling that they should sleep as quickly as possible only creates restlessness in the sleep routine. In the same way, no more problems should be rolled over in the evening, you shouldn't go to bed fighting. This applies to both children and adults. If there is a need for discussion between the parents, these things should be discussed after the child has gone to bed, because children are incredibly sensitive. 

How do I adapt my child's sleep routine to a new life situation such as starting school?  

If changes are pending, you should take a closer look at the child's sleep. The new day will be structured differently, i.e. it makes sense to set the time to fall asleep, e.g. E.g. to move forward because the day now starts earlier than before. At the same time, it can also happen that the child in this situation needs a nap again or longer periods of rest, because the whole thing is of course super exhausting and such a small body has to get used to that too. 

How do I do that with the sleep routine on vacation, possibly with a time difference? 

If the time difference at the holiday destination is not too big, you can of course start getting your child used to the new times 1-2 weeks before the holiday. This means that you always postpone falling asleep by 10-20 minutes in the respective direction until you have approached the new time that prevails at the holiday destination. 

Basically, of course, the following applies: Try to orientate yourself to the same times as best you can, even on vacation. This is especially true for smaller children who still have to take their naps during the day.  

And another tip: for longer car journeys and also air travel, it is sometimes helpful if you set off at night. So your little night owls will sleep through most of the journey and then arrive at the holiday destination fit and alert.

Get an overview: Our questionnaire guide with sleep coach Katharina

TogTogether with Katie, we designed a questionnaire that can help you identify sleep problems and find solutions. Here you can download the questionnaire.

1. Have you had trouble sleeping recently or for a long time?

It's perfectly normal for children to have erratic sleep patterns. Therefore, short-term sleep problems are far from being a cause for concern. As a parent, it's worth asking: Since when exactly has this been the case? Which external and internal factors can be the cause of the problems? Is my child getting their first teeth, is it sick, or is it just too warm in the bedroom? 

2. Has adhered to the previous life & Something changed in my child's sleeping situation, which could be the trigger for this?

If the problems have been around for a long time, then you might need to look a little deeper and further back in time. Think back to the time when everything was fine with the child's sleep - what has changed since then? For example, since your mother's new job, has there been less time for quality time? Is there perhaps a move that the child is still processing? The triggers can of course be individual and diverse. Of course, the older the child is, the more it is worth addressing the problem and asking specifically what the child is "missing" or causing problems. 

3. Does my child sleep enough or appropriately for his age?

Another common cause of sleep problems is sleep duration. For example, if the child does not get enough sleep at night and then gets that sleep during the day by taking a nap in the afternoon, it is clear that it is not tired enough in the evening.  

If you want to know a little more about this, take a look at our blog post Why doesn't my child sleep through the night over, there we go to the question: "How much sleep does my child actually need?" more precisely. 

4. Do we have a fixed bedtime routine? If so, what does it actually look like?

As already mentioned: A consistent routine with a reliable process is the A&O to solve and prevent sleep problems. So if you find it difficult to keep to the same times and a routine that your child can adjust to and get used to, then your child will also find it difficult to fall asleep. 

To visualize or write down what this process usually looks like can be extremely helpful in reflecting on your own habits. The bedtime routine may also contain elements that are not suitable for you and your child. For example, if bathing is stressful for your child and always creates a negative vibe, you may want to consider moving it to another time of the day.  

5. Does my child suffer from any health conditions that may negatively impact sleep?

Illnesses such as neurodermatitis can also have a negative effect on sleep. So if all other factors can be ruled out as the cause of the bad sleep, then it is advisable to talk to a doctor about the situation and, if necessary, to make adjustments to the health situation. 

6. How do I actually feel as a parent, or how do I react to the current situation?

It is important to keep a cool head despite the stress and the problems that go hand in hand with difficulties falling asleep and staying asleep. Sleep problems are stressful and frustrating for those affected, but especially then it is very important to realize that at the end of the day it is "only sleep". Sounds harsh, but it means exactly the opposite: Because even the attempt to accept and accept the situation canalready help immensely in constructively looking for possible solutions and in tackling them.  

It's difficult to keep a clear head when you're acutely sleep deprived and stressed out. In this situation, good communication between the parents is also important. It is perfectly fine to be in the relatives & Ask friends and acquaintances for help and, in addition to the child's sleep, also try to keep one's own rest.

Author: Jane-Lee Fromm