You don't have to be perfect to be the perfect parent!

Child won’t sleep? Slow down your day!

Don’t take a wrong turn after a few bad nights….or weeks…of sleep!

So you have had a bad night?  Maybe a bad couple of nights?  Your little one hasn’t slept and that means neither have you.  What is your plan?  I can remember thinking, “We have got to get this kid tired so we all get sleep!”  So, we would head outside and play hard for a couple of hours, skip a nap and have a marathon day.  After an exhausting day surely this kid will sleep.  Wrong!

It is a fact, children that have not slept well, or have a negative sleep balance (not enough sleep deposited in the sleep bank) and continue to exhaust themselves with physical activity will only hurt their ability to fall asleep!  We all have been there, the toddler that is exhausted and is running around on over drive making the whole house crazy or the infant that has missed a couple of naps and is exhausted but continues to cry incessantly.  It is like a merry-go-round that you can’t get off!

So, if you have had a few days of poor sleep for whatever reason…don’t try to exhaust your child even more.  Plan a quiet day and let your little one unwind peacefully at home.  Keep it a calm morning with playing quietly…keep the physical play at bay.  Have a nice nap routine with lunch and followed with a few books.  Rub their back and snuggle letting their little body slide into sleep.  Keeping it quiet and calm may just help your child fall back into a sleep pattern and get your child and you a nap. That nap will get you both back on track.  Follow up with a calm afternoon, quiet evening, a good bedtime routine with a back rub and snuggle, and hopefully the Sandman will make a visit early.  The key for sleep in a child that is sleep deprived is not more activity and stimulation, but less!  Slow it down, and welcome sleep.

Take a breath, enjoy the joyful moments of each day, and remember you don’t have to be perfect to be the perfect parent.



  1. Danielle

    This is very true! I make a habit of staying at home at least 3 days a week and leave the other 2 days and the weekend for exta activities and errands On our home days we will spend time with walks, crafts, music and extra reading. These are some of the best nap days too. I’ve also learned that you choose either morning or evening to do the extras-don’t miss both naps! And try and get Daddy’s on board too. Many times on the weekends they want to cram all the fun stuff into 2 days but unfortunately the toddler doesn’t feel the same way-no matter how fun it is!


  2. Stacey Yeo

    Hi Cindy
    Any recommendations on two sharing a room? 2 and 4 years old, some nights are so loud and such a battle! And I know they are short on sleep! It’s just the quiet time and getting to sleep that they fight.


    • Stacey,
      It is difficult sometimes with 2 kids in the same room, but I do think there is a special bond between siblings that are “roomies”. I do have a couple of tips.
      1. We did staggered bedtimes for our kids. It was a “privilege” to stay up a few minutes longer. I would read to the youngest, spend a little one on one time, settle the younger child into bed and leave telling her that I would be back with big sister in a minute. I would then start on the the next child staggering by about 15 minutes to 1/2 hour. This gave each of the kids time to settle down quietly and even maybe have the first one almost asleep when the older child joined, this also gives that needed one on one time with each child that everyone needs to find when you have multiple children!

      2. Your children are also old enough to understand consequences. You can give a warning before going to bed that if there is rough housing and noise, you will put one child in your bed in the other room until they are asleep and then move them back later that night. We did resort to that tactic a few times too.

      Hope this helps!


  3. Stacey Yeo

    Thanks! That’s what we’ve been doing but sleeping in ourbed has been less than a punishment for our son! He was striving for it so that stopped! -S


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