Preschool - Sleep and Crying babies

Sleep and Crying Babies (Preschool)

There is so much advice around sleep it can be difficult to know where to start and every child is different. We have collated some common sense guidance for you but remember that what works for one child won’t always work for another. When your baby or child won’t sleep it can be exhausting for the whole family, so don’t hesitate to talk to your GP or health visitor or seek out a local parenting group (see link on local resources).



Excellent Australian Podcast about sleep in children - each episode covers different age groups and problems. There are podcasts on "why your baby isn't sleeping, "managing sleep practices in babies" and "getting toddlers to sleep". Find them by clicking on this link : PodCastOne :Sleep


  • Crysis: National charity –great advice, suggested reading, support for dads and also a helpline on 08451 228669 from 9am to 10pm 7 days week. https://www.cry-sis.org.uk/
  • Helping your baby to sleep, dealing with baby sleep problems and advice on coping with disturbed nights. Click here
  • Purple Crying - This American website looks at what crying patterns are normal, what things to look our for and what you can do. Increased crying is common and normal from about two weeks through to about four months. Parents are often frantically looking for reasons such as thrush, tongue tie, colic or reflux and although any of these could be contributing, increased crying and restlessness may also just be part of normal development. (see also the 'fussy phase at 4 months below") This site has sensible advice and there is a section for dads too. http://purplecrying.info
  • My 4 month old isn’t sleeping
    It’s worth knowing that it is quite common for sleep to get a little worse around 4 months of age as babies may enter a growth spurt (and therefore be hungrier), be more aware of their surroundings and more interested in socialising with you! This is often called “sleep regression “ but is actually a sign of normal and healthy development, as this article points out with some useful tips on what you can do. https://www.sleepnanny.co.uk/blog/the-4-month-fussy-phase/
  • Children: Sleep tips for children under 5 years with advice on sleep problems such as your child won’t sleep without you or won’t go to bed. https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/pregnancy-and-baby/sleep-problems-in-children/
  • Childmind. org: Ask-the-expert. For toddlers and pre-schoolers try this 'fading' technique here
  • How to help if your child feels scared at bedtime- top tips from Action for Children here
  • It might also be worth looking at white noise machines, CDs or baby soothing Apps which can help with sleep e.g. with a selection of white noise and lullabies.


A bed of your own by Mij Kelly ; a nice little book to get children used to the idea of sleeping in their own bed and making it appealing. Take a look and read reviews here

The Incredible Years : A Trouble -Shooting guide for Parents of Children aged 2-8 years 
by C. Webster-Stratton.  ​Take a look here

My child has night terrors or nightmares

This NHS page tells you how to recognise a night terror compared to a nightmare and what you can do to help. Night terrors are commonest from about 3-8 years and most children grow out of them. Although upsetting to witness, children don’t remember them and they are not usually a sign of underlying anxiety. Recurrent nightmares are often remembered and may sometimes arise from a traumatic event. 

This American sleep site also has some good tips:

Preschool - Sleep and Crying babies

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