Putting the kids to bed is often a battle zone of sorts. Sometimes they just aren’t tired, sometimes they’re overstimulated, sometimes they just can’t seem to stay asleep. But there are ways to even the odds of victory, and all seasoned parents invariably have tips and tricks up their sleeves. So we spoke to Malaysian parents and picked their brains on how to ensure their little ones sleep well. Some require the help of a specific attachment item, while some rely on a consistent nightly routine. Every child’s sleeping needs are different, but the fact of the matter remains – getting them to sleep requires lots of patience and experimentation.
Note: The following quotes from parents have been edited for brevity and clarity.
How To Ensure Kids Sleep Well: Bedtime Essentials
Here are some bedtime must-haves (and daytime activities) recommended by parents that help children go to bed comfortably.
Pyjamas And Books
‘My son’s nightly routine basically involves bedtime cues where he’s in control. First, he gets to pick out his pyjamas then he gets to choose the story book for the night. We put him to bed, read him his favourite story, and cuddle in bed in his favourite pyjamas. That way, he feels secure, loved, comfortable, and ready to end the day with us.’
Plushie And Blanket
‘I think how to help children sleep well depends on their age. For my elder daughter who’s 5 years old, it’s a bit difficult for her to fall asleep, but when she does, she sleeps through the night. She still needs her plushie that she’s had since she was a baby to fall asleep. I think it gives her a sense of security in bed. She can’t sleep without her fluffy blanket as well.’
Baa Baa Sheepz Bolster
‘I placed a Baa Baa Sheepz bolster in my daughter’s cot since she was a newborn, and it became an item that provided her security. Whenever we pass her the bolster, she knows it’s time to sleep. This bolster is very popular in Singapore where I live, and I think most parents have more than two of it just in case one is in the washer. They have many sizes, so I’ll upgrade the bolster as my child grows. I also bought a jumbo-sized one for myself!’
Anti-Blue Light Glasses And Extracurricular Activities
‘We tried having our kids use anti-blue light glasses an hour before bed, especially as they tend to look at screens. I did notice that they would settle into bed quicker. Lately, the glasses didn’t make a difference because my two older kids are already exhausted by sundown due to their extracurricular activities. They swim, have football training, go for martial arts, and play golf every other weekday.’
Amber Night Light
‘My kids go to bed with a red or amber night light. I believe it helps with sleep in general. It’s supposed to boost melatonin production and improve sleep quality. I use one of those smart lights with RGB lighting, which allows you to change the colour of the light on your phone.’
‘How I ensure my daughter sleeps well is by putting her in a sleep sack, having a bedtime routine, and wearing her out during the day. Sleep sack is especially useful for newborns, as it relaxes them and prevents them from waking up from the startle reflex. It transitions babies from the tight swaddle yet provides the security they need.’
How To Ensure Kids Sleep Well: Nightly Routines
As for bedtime routines, these are parents’ tried-and-true methods on how to help their children sleep well.
‘Kids are always anxious about their surroundings, so they may have trouble going to bed. How I get my son to sleep well is by giving him warm milk with a pinch of turmeric before bed. It’s a traditional Indian beverage that helps improve sleep and reduce anxiety.’
White Noise And Cuski
‘Having a nightly bedtime routine is super important as it helps my daughter wind down for the night. We started when she was a newborn, and it goes like this: bath, milk, read books, brush teeth, and sleep. Having white noise is very important as it drowns out external noise. We also have a Cuski and small bolster for her, which she asks for every night without fail, and they really help too.’
Consistent But Flexible Nightly Routine
‘I feel like consistency is the keyword on how to sleep well, whichever method of sleep association one wants to adopt. Whether it’s the same room setting or attachment item, kids will pick up on what’s consistent as an association. It’s best to find something that’s not too elaborate, so it’s sustainable for your lifestyle. For us, we don’t really do books before bed because if we go out at night, it’s not sustainable to come home and have time for that. So our kids are used to the shower-put on pyjamas-lights out-chat about the day-pray-sleep routine because it’s flexible for when we have more or less time before bed. It’s still a familiar lead-up to sleep, so their body knows it’s coming.’
Daytime Activities And A Full Tummy
‘My sons Tuah and Jebat have been sleeping for 10 hours every night since forever. It takes a lot of determination and discipline to achieve this routine. They are very active during the daytime with activities. They swim, do martial arts, and play badminton. Otherwise, they’ll play at the park. I also make sure that they are well fed before bed.’
‘It’s all about having a nightly routine. One cannot break the routine. For my son, Eli, his last meal is at 5.30pm, and the unwinding process starts at 6.30pm. Then shower at 7pm and book reading at 7.30pm. Usually about three to four books per night. He’s been sleep-trained since eight months old. So after reading, he’ll have his milk. Then I put on the white noise and lie down next to him for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, I’ll leave and he’ll fall asleep on his own after 10 minutes.’
Parents, Try These Practical Methods On How To Ensure Kids Sleep Well
Getting your kid to fall asleep and stay asleep isn’t something you can get down to a science. What works this week may not even work the next. At the very least, we hope these insights from actual parents will help you identify more ways on how to ensure your little one can sleep well, so you can too. Good luck!
Now that we’ve tackled sleep, here are some healthy breakfast and lunch ideas to keep your child going during the day. But if you’re shopping around for baby and mummy products, be sure to sign up for Mum’s Club to score exclusive deals, vouchers, and extra cashback coins.