Top tips to help your little ones go to sleep

Getting little ones to sleep can be difficult for most parents with many trying a manner of different tricks and tips to aid the sleep process. Sleepless nights can often occur more frequently when children are suffering from a cough or congestion with blocked noses and chesty coughs keeping them awake through the night.
While there is no magic wand, the experts have pulled together some top tips for a stress free bedtime.
1. A glass of warm milk
Giving your little one a glass of warm milk before bedtime aids relaxation. Milk is rich in tryptophan, which the body converts into serotonin – a natural hormone in the body that makes you sleepy. Best of all, it has no added sugar and additive-free to help look after your child’s teeth.
2. A soothing bath
Having a bath an hour before bedtime can relax and soothe your child. It also determines a bedtime routine, which is a great path to a good nights sleep for the whole family.
3. A quiet environment
It is important to create a quiet, soothing environment at home before bedtime. Try to avoid playtime or anything noisy. Instead, read to them if possible, and if they are very young, run a white noise machine, as it will mimic being in the womb and drown out household sounds.
4. No electric gadgets/TV
Limit access to electronic equipment and games before bedtime. Research has found that the light from gadgets can disrupt sleep patterns and increase alertness(1).
5. Use a nightlight, music or projection system
Gentle music, soft lighting and comforting projection images can help to soothe and calm your little one as they drift off to sleep.
6. If your child is suffering from a cough or congestion at night, try using a humidifier to alleviate his/her symptoms
A humidifier will maintain moisture levels between 40-60%, reducing the survival of flu viruses on surfaces and in the air(2), while at the same time easing the discomfort of your sick child by soothing dry nose and throats.
7. Make sure your child's room isn't too cool or too warm
Aim for a room temperature of around 18-22 degrees Celsius and dress your child in a single layer. With the Vicks® recommended 2 in 1 Hygrometer & Thermometer, you can accurately measure the humidity level and temperature of their room.
(2) Myatt T., Kaufman M., Allen J., MacIntosh D., Fabian P., McDevitt J. Modeling the airborne survival of influenza virus in a residential setting: the impacts of home humidification. Environmental Health. 2010, 9.55