A ‘miraculous’ new book is taking bestseller lists by storm – “The Rabbit Who Wants to Fall Asleep”, written and self-published by Carl-Joahn Frossen Ehrlin, claims to be able to get even the most insomniac kids off to the land of nod with minimal fuss and drama – but does it really work?
Swedish psychologist Erhlin has employed carefully researched techniques – frequent parental yawning, repetitive phrasing, and spaces to insert the child’s name in strategic places so that they’ll identify with the titular character (sound familiar?) – in order to help encourage your little one’s eyelids to close in mere minutes.
Parental reviews have been encouragingly positive, and it’s even knocked Harper Lee’s “Go Set a Watchman” off the Amazon bestseller list (never mind the somewhat sinister front cover illustration). This got us thinking…what other methods exist to help get little ones off to sleep before parents lose their wits entirely, and above all, which ones are the best?
Stick to a routine
Our fun toothbrush timers can at least making one part of their bedtime routine more enjoyable…
Not an altogether exciting method, but one that child psychologists up and down the land swear by in order to keep your little one’s sleeping patterns in check. They key is to come up with a routine that you can apply to the household each and every night and stick to it – despite any protests from you-know-who. A simple Four B’s can help – bath, brushing teeth, books and bed – preferably in that order.
Despite their seductive ease, bright screens are the enemy of a peaceful night’s sleep.
We all know how addictive screens can be – their many types can help educate, entertain and entrance us – but they are also terrible hindrances to getting a solid night’s sleep. Not only do we tend to stay up later when we’re catching up on the latest episode of Game of Thrones (or maybe something a bit less intense if you’re with a little one), but any visual stimulants will naturally keep us more alert before bed, preventing a smooth transition from awake to asleep. Stick to old-fashioned story books!
…But Still Use Technology
On the flip side, technology can come in handy once your little one has already fallen asleep. App developer and father of two Rob Tong has developed a programme called SleepHero, which automatically senses when your little one is stirring and plays them a pre-recorded track of you soothing them back to slumber land; it even has a setting for older kids who won’t be fooled by the bodiless voice of their parent, which awards them virtual stars for every time they stay in bed upon waking. There may not be a foolproof method which works for everyone, but it’s always worth giving a free download a go.
What’s your go-to technique for getting little ones off to sleep and making sure they stay in bed all night? Will they only settle with their favourite cuddly toy? Let us know in the comments below!