Number one reason why your child refuses to sleep at night

Babies - sweet but powerless bundles who in fact, come nighttime, wield a huge amount of power and can BREAK YOUR SPIRIT.

It's no wonder the parenting advice industry is booming. Exhausted parents are forever looking for answers to their infant sleep dilemmas.

Arguably the most common question which crops up over and over again is "why won't my child sleep at night?"

Because, if you get to the bottom of that, then you've cracked it, right?

The good news is, the answer may be simpler than you first realised.

Children, according to sleep consultant Lucy Wolfe, don't resist sleep because they don't like sleeping or are particularly bright for their age.

Instead, as she tells RSVP Live , it's as simple as them being over-tired.

Lucy says: "The body manages sleep deprivation and over tiredness in specific ways. The process of sleep is determined by the biological time clock and hormonal interactions. 

"When a child is overtired and tries to go to sleep, their body experiences a chemical response. 

"This response is cortisol and adrenaline to the system that just has two main jobs: it makes it hard to go to sleep and it can also make it hard to stay asleep.

"What is required here is to attempt the sleep process, before over tiredness kicks in. 

"Commonly, over tiredness is represented by intense eye rubbing, big type yawning, agitation, clenching fists, stretching limbs, or some may say that their child becomes hyper, clumsy or highly entertaining. 

"Others will have no adverse reaction, but may look to sit and watch the television or cuddle on your lap."

Hmmm, does this sound all-too familiar?

If so, Lucy has a plan for you to follow, explaining: "Trying to address your child’s bedtime before those obvious symptoms emerge can really diffuse the fight that you may have been experiencing."

It can be further helpful if you follow my age –relevant  Nap Gap Dynamic and my Magic Number Line as you begin:

The Nap Gap Dynamic:

Observing this, can help to ensure that sleep is addressed at the right time biologically instead of solely relying on sleep cues, that can sometimes be hard to read.

Age / Hours between Nap end and in Bed Asleep / Suggested Nap End Time

4-8 months - 2-2.5 hours - 5pm

8-18 months - 3.5-4hours - 3-3.30pm

18 months-3 years+ - 4-5hours - 2.30-3pm

The Magic Number Line

Helps to establish a Fight Free bedtime process, used in conjunction with the Nap Gap Dynamic.

5-5.30pm Dinner

6- Final drinks/milk feeds

6.30pm bedtime routine

6.50pm into cot/bed

7-8pm aim to be asleep.

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