Step 9

Getting enough sleep will help your child stay a healthy weight.

Help your child get a good
night’s sleep every night

Sleeping is just as important as healthy eating and exercise. It’s good for your child’s physical and mental development. When your child has had a good night’s sleep, they’ll have more energy and they’re less likely to want sugary food during the day. You will benefit too, because you will have more time for yourself and to relax.

How much sleep does my child need?

Every child is different, so there’s no set amount of sleep. What they need, and when they need it, changes as they get older too. Here’s a helpful guide:

How can I make sure my child
gets enough sleep?

  • Get into a routine early – and stick to it

    A bedtime routine gets children familiar with sleep times and wake times. It’s up to you what to do, but try to keep it the same every night – even if sleep becomes difficult because of teething, illness or a growth spurt. Your routine might include having a bath, reading a story, dimming the lights or singing a lullaby. Try to start it from around three months.

  • Make your child’s bedroom sleep-friendly

    Ideally, the room should be dark, quiet and kept at a temperature of
    18-24°C. Also, there should be no screens or electronic devices in the room. Your child needs to associate the room with calm, quiet and sleeping.

  • Keep the routine going as your child grows up

    As your child gets older, try to keep to a similar bedtime routine. Too much excitement and stimulation just before bedtime can wake your child up again. Spend some time winding down and doing some calmer activities. And make sure there’s no screen time for at least one hour before bed.

  • Get more help if you need it

    If you’re having problems getting your baby into a routine, then ask your health visitor for advice. You can also read the Sleep Council’s Good Night’s Sleep for Children Guide