Creating a Smoother Bedtime Routine for Your Child with Special Needs

The feeling of constantly getting up to soothe an awoken child can leave many parents searching for support. Often times seeking advice from friends and family.  At times answers such as “let them cry themselves to sleep” or “they’ll grow into it “ don’t seem to provide the support you need. This article will provide a few tips and products to use to ease your child to sleep. 


Sleep diaries

Sleep diaries help to keep track of your child’s sleep routines. You can record any activities that your child did before sleeping. You can also keep track of how often you have to get up to comfort your child to sleep. These diaries can help establish a bedtime routine and identify any factors that may be leading to sleep disturbances. 


Bedtime Routine

Many children with special educational needs require a structured routine. This applies to many areas including bedtime. Having a set time that your child goes to their room can ease them into the sleep process. Children with autism and anxiety can benefit from using a visual timetable. This can make it easier to follow a structured sleep routine. Allowing your child to know the expectations leading towards bedtime. Maybe put a night light on, give them their favourite teddy and read a bedtime story. The more anxiety your child has the more important it is to keep to a consistent structured routine.

Sleeping Child Autism

Weighted blankets

Weighted blankets work for children with a range of needs. Using a weighted blanket is similar to receiving a firm hug. It uses deep pressure touch on the body to help the child relax and reduce any anxiety. Covering the whole body with a weighted blanket can lead to a feeling of safety and security. Therefore helping your child sleep throughout the night.

Sleeping atmosphere

Creating an atmosphere that is ready for sleep is a great way to ease the bedtime process. Switching off technological devices 30 minutes before bed can lead to a greater ability to stay asleep. Try using dimmer switches, calming music and blackout blinds to create a more sleep friendly environment. 

Incorporating these things into your child’s sleep routine will make bedtime a smoother process. Have you ever tried any of these things with your child? How did they work?


Are you looking for support with your child’s bedtime routine? Sign up and submit a request to one of our partners. 

**The information provided in this article is accumulated by the community not by professionals. It is important to seek appropriate medical or professional advice where necessary. 

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