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How to help your child sleep through the pandemic

How to help your child sleep during the pandemic

I want to start by telling you that you’re not alone. By reading this, I’m guessing that your child – and your family, are going through a challenging sleep period at the moment. 

Maybe your child’s sleep has become erratic, you’ve completely regressed or maybe your child has never had a really lovely sleep routine…I want you to know that this will not last forever.

So many people are reaching out to me at the moment because we are not sleeping well, their child doesn’t seem tired, there are dramas at bedtime, we need more sleep and don’t understand why, our family life feels unsettled, routines have gone out the window and anxiety levels are through the roof! 

So how do we stop the Coronacoaster?!

Please read on to arm yourself with more knowledge, understanding and hope. And if you’d like my personal support too, you’ve got it.

You NEED to know this!

You are not alone - The last three months have been worrying – to say the least! Every person, and especially every parent, around the world has had the same feelings you’ve been having. It would be surprising if your child’s sleep had not been affected – either due to their change in routine, or perhaps because of the increased levels of anxiety in your home.


It’s not your fault - However subtle, subconsciously, children do pick up on your anxiety. This is not your fault. Even though you’ve worked really hard to protect your child from the change within your home, just think how strange it must be for them not seeing friends and family and not going to nursery or school anymore. Even the fact that two parents may be at home during the day could be a factor. If they are too young for you to explain, they must be wondering what on earth is going on! And if you have a child with a neurodevelopmental issue, such as Autism Spectrum Disorder, the forced changes will be having an even bigger impact. 

Science plays a part - If like most people, your own sleep routine has changed and your child is going to bed later and getting up later in the mornings, it may be affecting their circadian rhythm and disrupting nap times and meal times, as well as bedtimes. I’ll be telling you more about the science of circadian rhythms in my next blog – so please read this! 

Consider the bigger picture – Your sleep (or lack of!) is playing a massive role in your family dynamic at the moment – maybe without you even realising. With the correct support from me as your sleep coach who is trained in holistic practice, your own sleep can be improved during the pandemic. And not just that! By working on prioritising family relationships, the child-parent bond and the confidence to provide responsive care to your children, your whole family will benefit. It’s truly transformational. 

There IS hope – I know it’s so hard but I would love for you to embrace this temporary change, and with my help, adapt to your new routine as a family. This will not last forever, and just because your little one’s sleep is off kilter now, it doesn’t mean that you can’t get it back on track. As a paediatric sleep consultant whose focus is on supporting families from a holistic and family-centred angle, I will help you navigate through the challenges.

7 quick tips you can try today

1. It’s tricky but try to stick to a consistent wake-up if your child if over 3 months old.

2. During the day, creating a routine with consistent nap times will also pay off at bedtime. You don’t want an overtired child! 

3. Please, please try not to stress. Maybe plan in some relaxation techniques for yourself during the day (I know, I know!!) and perhaps some age appropriate techniques for your child - yoga, relaxation/audio books, meditation, deep breathing for an older child etc. And perhaps make time for a power nap for you to help reduce your own sleep debt.

4. Your stress and anxiety is normal and nothing to be ashamed about. If sleep challenges are becoming an issue and affecting your family as a whole, there is specialist help available.

5. Even with the best will in the world (and plenty of home schooling and outdoor time) you may just have to accept that your child is not as tired as ‘normal’. And that’s ok. 

6. If touch is important to you and your child, try more skin to skin contact. They might need even more cuddles at the moment. You could even try massage or bathing with your baby. 

7. Whether your child is going to school this term or not, let them know that talking to you about any worries they have is a really good thing. They could also draw pictures about their feelings or put their worries into a worry box.

As a consultant in children’s sleep, I know that almost all the sleep problems your child is experiencing can be improved by using gentle, responsive and effective techniques.

My approach is to look at each family’s situation individually and holistically - taking into account all of the influencing factors that are affecting your child’s sleep. 

The consultation and assessment process allows me to fully understand the challenges you’re experiencing, which I then use to create an individualised and bespoke plan that prioritises and protects the parent-child bond in a respectful and responsive way.

I bring warmth, kindness, compassion and developmentally appropriate gentle solutions which focus on your family connection, enabling you to tackle the sleep challenges with confidence, whist I support you every step of the way.

At present, all consultations with me are currently online or by telephone and email but I’m hoping my home visits will resume shortly. 

Please contact me to learn more about how I can support you.

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