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Bedtime Action Plan

Developed by Health Visiting Service, Portage Team, Early Years Team and Educational Psychology (Taken from ‘The Gentle Sleep Book’ by Sarah Ockwell-Smith).


Bed sharing/co-sleeping

  • Be aware of all of the safety guidelines



  • How do your expectations compare with the norms of sleep for a child the same age?
  • Is bed-time appropriate for their age?
  • Are you giving your child sufficient time at home after any pre-school/nursery to allow hormone levels to drop before bedtime routines begin?
  • Do you have at least ½ hr of calming bedtime routines that are followed fairly consistently every day?



  • Is your child having a balanced diet, appropriate for their age?
  • It may be useful to discuss this with your health visitor


Transitional objects

  • Does your child have a comfort object? This object should be associated with you, so that your child can take comfort from it when you are not there.
  • If your child is attached to one object, try to get hold of a second one in case it gets lost.



  • How much time does your child spend in front of a screen? Try to avoid screens for 2 hrs before your child needs to sleep.
  • Try your best to avoid anything on TV that might cause fear for your child.
  • Avoid having a TV in your child’s bedroom and minimise other screens in their room too (e.g.- tablets)



  • How much support do you have from others around you?
  • Do you feel you are able to look after yourself?



  • Is the lighting in your house able to dim in the evenings?
  • If your child’s bedroom is not able to be completely dark at night time, consider using red light bulbs.
  • Spend time playing in your child’s room in the day in order to associate it as a happy place.
  • Avoid disciplining young children using their bedroom, so they do not make negative associations.