The 1 (And Only) Childhood Sleep Method That Actually Works

Author Image By Paula McLaren - Norland Nurse NNEB RSH •  Updated: 01/31/23 •  Sleep / Sleep Tips

This post is going to reveal the one and only method to mastering the art of childhood sleep that truly works. 

Now I’ve spent a whole career working with families across the world to raise children to be happy, healthy individuals and throughout this time, I have witnessed the same common issue pop up. 

Parents say to me “No matter what I do, my child just won’t go to sleep!” or “I’m trying this sleep method but it simply isn’t working”…

But the truth is much different from what they expect…

The flawed thought that is circulating at the moment is that there’s some sort of a system that you can do over and over and over again to make your child magically sleep like an angel. 

The truth is that the real secret to raising a child who falls asleep and stays asleep at nap and bedtime is to understand that healthy sleep starts as soon as your child wakes up.

I know this because that’s exactly how I have raised hundreds of children throughout my nannying career and never once has it failed me. 

And truthfully, yes…

It does require a bit more patience to understand and implement…

But the end result of having a child who falls asleep and stays asleep when their naps and bedtime roll around will always be worth the extra time and brain power. 

Why Looking At Sleep From The Minute Your Child Wakes Up Is So Important

While there is a lot of information out there about when, how much and how often children need to sleep at given ages… 

Actually knowing how to use it effectively in your everyday routine is a skill on its own.

After all… No child is the same and if your little one is not sticking to the designated schedule, what do you do?

Well, that’s when looking at childhood sleep from the minute your child wakes up will make sleep calculations easier and less stressful for you and explains why your little one may be struggling to sleep at night or during the day… 

Not only does looking at sleep age-appropriate sleep over a 24-hour period:

It gives you all the information available to ensure your child sleeps when they need to, regardless of how they have been sleeping in the past.

The 24-Hour Method

The 24-hour method is my childhood sleep technique for ensuring parents avoid having a child who’s too awake and not ready for sleep OR having a child who is overtired and fights sleep.

And put simply it’s about you knowing exactly how much age-appropriate sleep your little one needs and keeping tabs on how that sleep is going on any given day.

Many bedtime issues are a result of your little one being overtired or not tired enough and that would almost certainly mean that they are not getting enough or they are having too much daytime sleep.

There are also a lot of influences during the course of the day that can ultimately affect nighttime sleep:

Your child’s energy levels will be constantly fluctuating.

So in order to keep childhood sleep track you need to take note of the following:

The 1 (And Only) Childhood Sleep Method That Actually Works Featured

Common Issues That Occur If You Don’t Focus On Sleep From When Your Child Wakes Up

The main issues you will find yourself having to deal with if you don’t focus on childhood sleep as a whole from when your child wakes until they go to bed are:

1. Overtiredness

Overtiredness is always your enemy when it comes to young children and sleep. 

An overtired child will always struggle to settle and often, they will not stay asleep for long. 

This can result in many bedtime battles as well as:

2. Not Being Ready For Bedtime

By the same token, if your little one has had too much sleep during the day… they will not be ready for bedtime at a reasonable time. 

This can result in the common bedtime battles of your little one constantly getting out of bed, taking forever to fall asleep or using delaying tactics.

And while an age-appropriate nap schedule is essential and the basic framework on which you build your daytime sleep…

You also need to be flexible and well-informed as to how much sleep your little one needs at any given age as well as on any given day depending on your circumstances.

Age-Appropriate Sleep Recommendations

Here is a rundown of age-appropriate sleep recommendations for your little one:

Age Appropriate Childhood Sleep Amounts

How The 24-Hour Method Allows You To Adapt To Your Child’s Individual Sleep Needs

“Just as adults differ in terms of their sleep, so do babies” – Alice Gregory, author of the book Nodding Off: The Science of Sleep and a psychology professor specialising in sleep at the Goldsmiths University of London.

Some families may wish for their children to sleep longer in the day and be awake later into the evening, while others will aim for an earlier bedtime and need their little ones to sleep less during the day. 

Every family is different…

And even if you have had a solid routine for a while, life can throw you a curveball every now and then which will alter your routine and change your child’s sleeping habits.

It has happened to me more times than I can count throughout my nannying career.

But by working within 24-hour cycles rather than morning, afternoon and nighttime sections you will give yourself the flexibility and confidence to wake your child early from a nap or adjust their bedtime as necessary.

As well as help your children to cross time zones, sleep on the go and enjoy the occasional late night during the holidays without you worrying about how to ‘get them back on track’.

Benefits Of Looking At Day And Night Sleep As A Whole

As a parent, it is easy to feel like a slave to your child’s sleep schedule and you can easily find yourself constantly second-guessing if you are getting it right…

However, if you are looking at childhood sleep as a whole and as a part of your parenting journey, you will get an incredibly clear picture of your child’s sleeping habits, tendencies and preferences. 

And as a result, you will be able to identify and resolve any sleep issues far quicker than if you did not have this awareness. 

Meaning you will have a well-rested child almost all of the time.

And a well-rested child will be happier, kinder and more patient…

Making your life and your family’s life far easier.

Not only this… but you will also find that your child will enjoy the process of going to bed and will fall asleep quickly too.

A win-win-win all around.

Need More Parenting Help?

Author Image Bio
Paula McLaren is the founder of Teething to Tantrums and a highly qualified childcare expert with over 40 years of experience as a Norland Nanny. She holds a BA (Hons) in Early Years Development & Learning (0-6 Years) and the prestigious Norland Diploma. Paula has worked as a night nanny, run a successful daycare center in London, and helped raise countless children using her tried and tested developmental and guidance methods.

Keep Reading