15 Answers

I need some positive ideas to help teach my 5 yr old daughter to self settle for bed and during the night.
Thank you in advance for all who give kind and positive ideas and thoughts :-)

Posted anonymously, 6th July 2015

Want more real mum questions sent to you?

You'll need to check this email to complete your signup.


Ask your question
  • Make the journey to bedtime quiet and controlled and the same each night. Give her a book to read or colour in when in bed for ten minutes if so

  • Having a routine will help. Have dinner, bath, TV time, brush teeth and a bedtime story. Lavender under her pillow will help her relax too, or one of those lavender teddy bears, they’re really cute

  • My little one has a teddy bear that plays music when you squeeze its paw. This seems to help her immensely, and she can control it herself.

  • Establish a routine and include reading a story in bed. Let her choose the book to read too. Keeping quieter, lower voices, warm room etc. helps. Start winding down about an hour before you want her to actually be in bed helps. Warm bath. Just slowing down helps.

  • We follow the same routine each night, and try to keep it to a very similar time each night as this is best for the circadian rhythm of our bodies apparently. Lots of running around, boisterous play before dinner, inside wash hands, set table, eat, bath, teeth, toilet, read a story together as I brush the girls hair, then cuddles and light off with a night light on that turns off after 30 mins. Occasionally they will call out to us, but we go in and let them know we are just in the kitchen cleaning up and that they are safe, and it seems to be ok. The two biggest items that we find are making sure they have run around a lot before dinner, and the introduction of the timer nightlight.

    Hope you can find a solution soon!

  • A routine is the answer. Bath, bed with story time and cuddle and then lights out or a night light. It might take a while for the routine to stick but it is up to you to keep trying at it until it does.

  • Turn tv off an hour before bedtime maybe make a cute little spot for reading. A beanbag, a princess tent with cushions etc inside. A nice place with some books and encourage reading to be more relaxed and calm before bed or even colouring in at a table would be calming. If it’s a routine before bed, her body clock should get used to it and naturally settle. :)

  • Keep to the same routine, Stay calm and make sure your partner knows the routine and is willing to stick to it with you. A child should learn a new routine within 3 – 7 times of doing the same thing. It will only work if you are consistent.

  • a warm bath and then straight to bed with a short bedtime story, a cuddle, tell her you love her and will see her in the morning then switch out the light and leave the room :)

  • books and gentle meditation music especially for young ones creates a restful atmosphere. Not TV or loud stuff. Also nice fragrance in air creates peaceful feeling, I use lectric candles ab safe and give nice glow as well as smell. Me when younger a studio shot my nephew paid for me to have done

  • A night light might help. Does she have a comforter? Like a special soft toy or blanket? That could help transition. Talk her through some settling techniques and practice together. E.g. When you can’t get to sleep listen to your breathing, or imagine a beautiful story, or gently tickle/rub your forehead and around your face… (trial and error but you also know your daughter and what suits her. For some kids a story actually gets them more excited than sleepy but for others it’s a great unwind). Even try googleing kids breathing bed time techniques.
    Set up a Reward chart of steps so she knows what’s coming. A few nights of mum and dad helping practice techniques when she wakes. Then at bedtime you practice together, then leave the room for a set time and go back in. Talk her though what will happen when she wakes- she may feel scared and that’s ok. Listen to her breathing and close her eyes. Basically work up to not needing to go with in.
    Do you have a consistent bedtime routine? It’s worth having one to signal bedtime. Also try reduce reasons she may need to wake, like toilet before bed and a water bottle by her bed.
    You’re doing a great job :) good luck

  • Don’t let your daughter watch TV or play electronic games after tea at night if she normally does so. Monitor what she watches on TV. Most programs on ABC kids are OK, but ABC 3 have some scary things on that your daughter may think are funny. Keep the controls out of their reach. I discovered one of mine changes channels if I have to go to the toilet myself or need to take the younger one who has to be supervised. Watching scary things can cause them to be scared to go to sleep. Is there anything happening at pre-school or school that could be having some negative affect on her?. Don’t let her watch the news. At one stage out TV had to go to sleep for our little ones to go to bed and go to sleep willingly. Now he often says “I go to bed” and takes himself. Please understand that I am just putting on here things that are running through my mind. Some of these things may not be applicable at all.

  • Why is she not settling? Is it comfort, dark or other things like ‘monsters’.
    Maybe try reading a story or two. Then turn on the night light…there are many different ones from a normal one, or one that puts stars on the wall and ceiling or even a cuddle toy with a light in it. I wouldn’t recommend any music ones because that can actually keep them awake. If there is a scared of the monsters things going on, you can use spray bottle and create a sticker on it saying its monster spray. Spray around the room and it gets rid of them.
    Good luck, all kids settle differently, its just finding out why they are not settling.

  • Read them a story book to help them settle and unwind

  • give her a night light or a lamp and get her into a bedtime routine.

Post you answer
Like Facebook page

LIKE MoM on Facebook

What is your answer to that question?
Would you like to include a photo?
No picture uploaded yet.
Please wait to see your image preview here before hitting the submit button.
Your MoM account

Lost your password?

Enter your email and a password below to post your answer and join MoM:

↥ Back to top

Thanks For Your Star Rating!

Would you like to add a written rating or just a star rating?

Write A Rating Just A Star Rating