Snooze-Worthy Tips: A Fun and Effective Way to Get 8-12 Year Olds to Sleep Like a Baby

Say goodbye to sleepless nights and hello to sweet dreams with our fun and effective tips for 8-12 year olds. Our unique ideas will have your child drifting off to dreamland in no time.

Ah the age of blossoming independence...... where kids and pre-teens want a later bed time either with parental permission or..... without. What happens when all of a sudden your older child seems to be regress in their healthy sleep habits? Do they (or you) wake up exhausted in the morning because they’ve struggled to fall asleep or their sleep quality is poor? We’ve got some fun and effective tips that will help your child go back to sleeping like a baby (minus the diapers). From creating a bedtime ritual to making a relaxing sleep mask with Mom or Dad, these unique ideas will have your pre-teen drifting off to dreamland in no time. So, let’s bid adieu to sleepless nights and hello to sweet dreams with our fun and creative bedtime solutions.

1. Create a bedtime ritual:

Instead of just having a routine, create a special bedtime RITUAL that your child can look forward to each night. This could be something as simple as a special hand gesture you do with your child before they go to sleep. This will not only signal it’s nearly sleep time, but give them a sense of security and make bedtime feel like a special and cherished moment fostering connection and strengthening bonds. Sometimes it really is the little things that count!

12 year old Dog sleeping very tight under weighted blanket

2. Use a weighted blanket:

Weighted blankets have been shown to have a calming effect on children, and can help them fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer. Consider investing in a weighted blanket for your child’s bed. The added weight of the blanket simulates a comforting hug, which can help relax and calm your child, and is a 'comforter' option that works the same as a blankie or pacifier for a younger child but with a little more maturity.

3. Practice yoga or meditation:

Yoga and meditation can help children intentionally relax and unwind before bed. Look for kid-friendly yoga videos online or find a children’s meditation app to use before sleep. Yoga and meditation can teach children how to focus on the present moment and let go of worries and stress, which is beneficial for a good night sleep.

4. Have a “no-tech” hour before bed:

Instead of just limiting screen time, have a “no-tech” hour before bed where all electronics are turned off and the family engages in a non-tech activity together, such as playing a board game or reading a book. This will help your child disconnect from the stimulation of technology and relax their mind and body before bed. It can be a hard one to get older kids to buy in to if they are used to being on screens right up to sleep, but it really can make the world of difference.

9 year old girl reading book in bed to imrpove sleep

5. Make a cozy reading nook:

Create a cozy reading nook in your child’s room where they can read before bed. Provide them with comfortable pillows, blankets, and a small lamp to create a warm and inviting atmosphere. Reading before bed can help relax the mind and body, and it is also a great way to bond with your child. Many kids in this age group still like to read with Mom or Dad but it may look more like a chapter book you can build on each night, rather than the traditional kids books of earlier years.

6. Make a sleep mask:

Help your child make their own sleep mask using fabric and a few simple supplies. This will give them a sense of ownership over their bedtime routine and make it more special. It will also block out any unwanted light and make it easier for your child to fall asleep. Here’s a page that gives you more info and ideas.

Phone with sleeping playlist to improve the rest of kids

7. Create a Sleep Time Playlist:

Create a playlist of calming and soothing songs that your child can listen to before bed. This can help relax their mind and body and make it easier for them to fall asleep. A favourite audio book can also be good, but play one they have listened to before so they don’t keep themselves awake to find out what happens next, and dim the the screen so it's not bright and super stimulating!

8. Make a Sleepy Time Tea:

Introduce your child to the concept of drinking a warm cup of tea before bed. You can make your own bedtime tea blend by mixing chamomile, lavender, and lemon balm. This will not only soothe their body but also make them feel like they are part of the bedtime ritual.

Journal book with pen on top to help children fall asleep during bedtime

9. Encourage journaling before bed:

Encourage your child to write down their thoughts, feelings and experiences of the day in a journal before bed. This will not only help them to process their day but also relax their mind and body, preparing them for sleep. If they aren't keen on writing, drawing or doodling can be just as effective. You can also suggest they write down their goals and dreams for the next day or for the future. Find out more here.

10. Keep bed for sleep:

This one is huge. Try and keep the bed, (if not the bedroom) only for sleep time. This means no playing, potentially no reading (try the cozy reading nook from above instead) and definitely no screens, phone usage, or tv watching in bed. This trains the mind and body to recognise the bed is only for sleeping and so your child will be much more likely to find it easy to fall asleep quickly when they tuck themselves in for the night.

Getting 8-12 year olds to sleep doesn’t have to be a chore. With these fun and unique tips, you can make bedtime a positive and peaceful experience for your child. From creating a bedtime ritual to making a sleep mask, these ideas will have your child drifting off to dreamland in no time. Ready to help your pre-teen rediscover the joy of a peaceful night's sleep? Download the Thumsters Parenting App today and revolutionize their bedtime routine! With Thumsters, you'll find a range of features designed to make bedtime fun, engaging, and relaxing for your child. Designed by parents and recommended by child psychologists and behavior specialists, Thumsters helps kids aged 3-12 develop long lasting healthy habits, bedtime included!

Unlock the power of positive reinforcement with Thumsters. Customize your child's bedtime ritual, track their progress, and celebrate their achievements together. Click the 'download' button below to get your child's sleep back on track today. Sweet dreams!

Want some more tips? Check out our blog on how to get kids to sleep in their own bed for more general information.

Transform bedtime and say goodbye to sleepless nights with Thumsters!