My child doesn't want to go to bed anymore, what can I do?

Mijn kind wil niet meer naar bed, wat kan ik doen?

Sleepless nights, we know it all too well as parents. In the first years, these sleepless nights in children are mainly caused by being unable to sleep. But it can also happen that your child suddenly doesn't want to go to bed at all. That way you will be back. Although this can feel desperate for you as a parent, there is often an underlying reason why. What can you do about this? And more important, what is that reason? In this article you can read more about it.

The reason that your child suddenly doesn't want to sleep anymore

First Things, First: It is completely normal for children to experience this phase. The best news? It usually passes away again. But that of course makes it no less annoying for you. Often it has to do with consistent parenting, a lack of fixed routine or crazy enough, sleep deprivation. Here are a few reasons why your child suddenly no longer wants to go to bed:

  • New environment: For children, a new environment or change in the space in which they sleep can cause unrest. Something in the room is now different, or maybe you have moved, so that your child still has to get used to the new environment.
  • A new way of looking for attention: Don't underestimate your child, they are often smarter than we think. Do you give your child more attention to going to sleep because you are afraid of what is to come? Be careful with that. Children quickly realize this and then use it as a means for attention.
  • Growth pain: Sooner or later all children will have to deal with growing pain. Very annoying of course. Fortunately, this will pass over time.
  • Discipline: No = no. If at some point children get through that they can still stay up or get their way after dramming after a while, they will continue to repeat this. Therefore, try to be strict with this from an early age.
  • Worry: Children can also be sunk in their thoughts or sit with something. Has something happened at childcare or is your child not feeling well at school? Try to talk about this together.
  • Stress in parents: Children always hold a mirror to you. Are you not comfortable in your skin or is something going on at home at the moment? Then they are right. So take good care of yourself and also choose relaxation.
  • New sleep rhythm: At some point, the sleep rhythm of children must be adjusted. That is, from one or more naps a day to only sleep at night. This can uphold children in the beginning. Build up the new rhythm and take the time together. Here too: this will pass by again.

Do you think something else is going on than the above points? Then try to talk to your child about sleeping behavior. Nothing comes out of that? Then a visit to the doctor may be wise.

Tips to let children sleep better

Does your child no longer sleep and are you nearby? Here are a few tips that can help:

  • Put back in bed: If you take children out of bed or let you sit as soon as they start to cry, they will quickly realize the game. So just put your child back in bed when he or she cries. Time -consuming, but efficient. We promise that.
  • Provide a good bedtime: A healthy sleep rhythm is essential for young children. Did they sleep less during their nap during the day? Then they can go to bed earlier in the evening. And vice versa, did they slept longer in the afternoon? Let them stay up for a little longer.
  • Sleep routine: A sleep routine can also help. By that we mean: the same steps and times before bedtime every evening. In a few of our earlier blogs we have already given tips about a sleeping routine, read them here
  • Night light: One of the most common reasons why children suddenly no longer want to sleep is because they are afraid in the dark. First of all, it is important to recognize your child's fears. Then they feel heard and safe. Another tip: take a night light! These do not release too much light and often have a timer, which means they go out after thirty minutes. View here A few nice examples of night lights.
  • Relax: If children are too busy during the day, this can affect their sleep rhythm. Children are literally over their speed. To prevent this, it is wise to schedule rest moments during the day. Go and do something quiet together such as reading a book or listen to quiet music.


A good night's sleep is essential, both for parent and child. With these tips you will certainly come to dreamland - guaranteed!

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