Your baby is…well…no longer a baby. You’ve got a walking, talking, preschooler now, so chances are, what’s keeping him up at night may be a bit different than the issues that made bedtime tricky during his newborn days. From persistent sniffles to schedule disruptions, these sleep stumbles can be frustrating—not to mention exhausting. But with a few smart changes, you can make bedtime go smoothly, and sleepily.
Your little one has been having bad dreams or fears of monsters in the room.
The fix: Instead of saying “don’t be scared,” try to validate your child’s fears by letting them know that you understand how they feel. Use dramatic play (with puppets or dolls) or drawings to help them work out how they’re feeling. Look for books you can read together that address the after-dark frights in fun, approachable ways. A cute night light can also help to illuminate the darkness. Finally, try this time-honored, parent-tested trick: Arm your child with a spray bottle filled with water (shhh!) that you’ve clearly labeled “Monster Spray.” Happy monster hunting, kid.
There’s been a change of schedule or time (due to daylight savings, a holiday, travel, and the like).
The fix: You’ll want to re-establish whatever routine you may have strayed from. Start by setting the scene; perhaps it’s time to install (or simply lower) some room-darkening shades, which can be a real game-changer if it’s too bright at bedtime or you need to help your child adjust to a time change. Cue up some snoozy tunes and set aside plenty of wind-down time for the full evening routine (bath, books, plenty of cuddles, and no screens). Short-term use of a product like Mommy’s Bliss Kids Sleep Gummies, which contains melatonin, Mommy’s Bliss Kids Sleep Chewable, which contains melatonin, magnesium and calming herbs, or Mommy’s Bliss Kids Sleep Liquid, which has melatonin and calming herbs, can help support your child’s natural sleep process.
Your little one is simply too hyped up near bedtime to nod off.
The fix: It’s a frustrating situation, for sure. No judgment if you’ve sort of given up and let your kiddo stay up till he passes out. Returning to basics is vital here, and that means mapping out (and sticking to!) a solid bedtime routine, which sets the scene for slumber. And here’s the most important part: Sign your sweetie off all screens at least an hour before his intended bedtime. Research has shown that tech time can make going to sleep harder for many kids.
Your child has lingering stuffiness or coughing from a cold, making it hard to hit the hay.
The fix: Occasional coughs needn’t keep your tot up all night long. Start the mucus-loosening process by having your little one hang out in a steamy room—you can always run a hot shower for ten minutes before filling the tub for her bath. As she’s putting on her pj’s, set up a cool-mist humidifier in her room. Placing a few towels beneath the mattress or offering a thick pillow can help elevate her head, making breathing a tad easier. Another idea: try an organic cough and mucus syrup specially formulated for bedtime, like Mommy’s Bliss Organic Kids Cough Syrup and Mucus Night Time. It’s made with organic honey, agave, and ivy leaf, which can help when your child is coughing to clear mucus*, and has herbs like chamomile, lemon balm, and passionflower to promote relaxation*.