I would like to start off by saying that every child is different and that the things I talk about below might not work or might just work for your kids.
At the time of writing this I have a 4 year old, 3 year old and a 1 year old. The older 2 started sleeping through at 18 months of age, the youngest is 14 months old and I am hoping follows the example.
In my experience trouble sleeping for kids can be attributed to any of the following.
Developmental Milestones – Learning new skills, such as rolling over, sitting up, crawling, standing, walking and any other milestone can be exhausting for our little ones. Processing these and the days events while sleeping is natural.
Teething – This one speaks for itself, causing restlessness, pain and general grumpy kids from average age of 5 months to 4 years when the last molar comes in. Take a look at our teething help advise here.
Sick – Congested nose, cough, fever, flu or earache are just some of the annoyances that keep our little ones up. I like to keep various remedies in my natural medicine kit to help out with things like this.
Skin irritants – Kids clothing and labels can play a part, I had to even switch my washing powder the one month. Also a too tight a nappy (diaper) can make sleeping uncomfortable.
Hot / Cold – Over dressing or under dressing or not providing enough blankets.
Hunger / Thirst – Up until 18 months of age both my boys woke for a 1 am bottle, showing that their little tummies were not ready to take the night stretch. Another angle to take on this is fill the kids up with foods at supper that require a long time to digest and in such keeping them fuller for longer.
Over Stimulated – Kids who are still over stimulated come bed time will obviously rarely go to sleep. A routine is a wonderful thing, I don’t have a strict one but I try to keep the last hour or two before bed time a clam time. Most parents swear by a bath time routine, adding lavender to the bath can also help relax. I also use various herbs like chamomile or catnip tea for the evening drink if the day was particularly over exciting.
With my 4 year old being a type 1 diabetic we are always looking into foods that can help lower his blood sugar levels resulting in less insulin (and needles 🙁 ) One such thing I have incorporated into our evening meals is Cinnamon. I bake bread and cookies with it in and I even make a spice tea! We have replaced sugar with stevia (very sweet herb extract) as well.
So if your kids have been at a party and ate too way to much sugar to go to sleep, dose them with a cinnamon snack or warm drink!
You know your child best, don’t ignore your mothering instincts.