A complaint many parents have is of toddlers who don’t go to sleep for hours after their bedtime or wake up during the night.

This can cause stress and fatigue over a long period of time not only for the parents but for the toddlers as well.

Sarah Kottmann creator of little Munchkins say there are many reasons why a child doesn’t want to go to sleep or stay asleep.

Implementing any changes will take time and patience but here are a few things that may help depending on the needs of the child, as each is different:

  • Having a routine makes children feel secure as they know what’s about to happen next, create one for bedtime and then stick to the same routine every night, this may include a bath, reading them a story and then saying good night.
  • Make sure the child is cool enough or warm enough depending on the weather; if it is to hot or cold they may easily wake and not be able to resettle.

  • Give them a special toy or blanket that they can resettle with as a form of comfort.
  • Deal with the fears and anxiety by narrowing down the problem, if this is not possible then research has shown herbs such as chamomile or passionflower can be calming and help with anxiety.
  • Rebalancing their sleep pattern, sometime if the problem has been going on for a long period of time the sleep pattern may be unbalanced. By using a homeopathic melatonin over a few nights this pattern may be rebalanced.

It is important not to give up and to find the best method that works for your child.

What bedtime routine do you use to help settle your child? 

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  • My eldest was a nightmare for the first year but there after she was fine.
    My other two were good sleepers. I guess over all i was lucky….apart from my eldest and her first year….no idea how i survived that.


  • My daughter now almost 23 went through a phase of waking up unacceptably early. I tried what felt like everything without success until i put a clock in her room with the little hand painted her favourite colour and litlle shiny stickers next to the numbers (hours) she is allowed to get out of bed even if that meant reading a book or two quietly in bed (i used.to leave 2 on her bedside table). The only thing she could get out for was the toilet.
    A week of success earned her a reward (a new book to read in bed when she woke up), before i knew it she was not only staying in bed she was falling back to sleep.
    Everyone including me was nicer to be around as we were all getting more sleep.


  • I have a five yr old grandson who suffer from extreme anxiety and still wont sleep in his own bed .
    He sleep in his parents room and still wakes every couple of hrs just to see where his parents his very rest less and when he come to my place for the weekend i sleep in the lounge room with his to make him comfortable. its very difficult to get him to settle and sleep he is a very anxious child like routine and once out of that or if things change he get very upset.


  • It may seem completely backwards, but putting my two girls into a room together (one and three) actually got rid of both of their sleep problems completely!!! I was amazed, i think they find comfort in knowing someone is very close. :)

    • oh that is really sweet! that would be so lovely for them


  • Be consistent is my suggestion. And firm


  • What age can a child start homeopathic remedies?

    • A homeopathic remedy can be given from birth it a very gentle and safe, can be used with medications, elderly, pregnancy, breastfeeding etc.


  • Or biggest problem with our 4 year old is early waking. Sometimes as early as as 4:30am, but mostly between 5-5:30am. She generally won’t go back to sleep, but I think this is affecting her behaviour later in the day as she’s tired. Even putting her to bed later makes no difference. Any tips for resetting her body clock at this hour?!

    • First i would look at the kind of blinds you have and how much light is coming through as i know my own child was waking at 5am in summer due to the sun rising earlier and the amount of light coming through, you den get block out blinds. If its a matter of reprogramming then trying the homeopathic melatonin could be an option or there is a mother remedy used for jet lag to re program called cocculus. I would recommended seeing a homeopathic in your area.


  • Some good points in this story, but sometimes none of that works either….particularly around the anxiety at bedtime. Every night I reassure my child. We’ve done chamomile too and it’s the same every night. Thinking psychology might be the way now…!

    • if there is major fears see a homeopath to get a constitutional in children this work very quickly, i would also look at food intolerances.


  • Great advice I can utilise but also pass along to some Mum friends who are also having these struggles


  • it s great to read these things fantastik really


  • I wish I had stuck with more of a routine when mine were young. Their sleep isn’t the best now.


  • This is good sleep advice, thank you.


  • My little boy always liked your fidel with things so I made a soft comforter blanket and he no longer needs to be held to sleep.


  • I would have liked this article to have been expanded a little more and gone a bit deeper..also explaining what homeopathic melatonin is ? would have been helpful. thanx.

    • its difficult to explain in a short article, brief description below on melatonin and a link to my website that explains homeopathy in more detail.
      Melatonin is a naturally produced hormone, secreted by the pineal gland. It is produced during darkness to promote and regulate sleep patterns.
      Homeopathy was discovered in the late 1700’s, by a German doctor Samuel Hahnemann. Homoeopathy is a system of medicine based on these two principles:
      Like cures like (Law of Similars)
      The more dilute the remedy, the greater its potency (Law of the Infinitesimal Dose)


      • yes that is very detailed. you know your stuff


  • I try to keep a routine but my kids have minds of their own! My 4 yr old is pretty good with routines nut my 2 year old is driving me crazy as she wont got to sleep without me and wakes several times a night looking for me…grrrr!

    • this can be a fear or anxiety related.


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