Expert shares top tips for getting your kid to sleep

Most parents will know of the hair-pulling, tantrum-diffusing negotiation of getting your kids to go to bed - it can be the hardest of tasks at the best of times. Now that the days are getting longer and the weather warmer, it can take a toll on the bedtime routine. 

Chirela Shallow, author of The Gentle Sleep Solution: The Naturally Nurturing Way to Help Your Baby Sleep and writer for The Baby Sleep clinic, is here to help, with some surprising techniques to help your little one sleep more soundly. 

Speaking to the Daily Mail, Shallow says it's what you do during the day that can help them go down easier at night. 

Here are some of her top tips: 

Foot massage 

A lot of sleep issues in children relate to anxiety, that's why having special protected time with loved ones can really help children to feel calm and safe before bedtime.

This can be done through a number of ways, through cuddling or even a foot massage an hour before bed which will ease any worries or stresses before it's time to go to bed. 

Cottage cheese

Feeding children snacks such as cottage cheese before bed may sound absurd, but it is full of the amino acid tryptophan, which can increase serotonin levels. 

Top the cheese with raspberries to appeal to a child's sweet tooth, as these are rich sources of melatonin, the sleep hormone. 

You could even try introducing turkey, salmon, swiss cheese or even pheasant as a pre-bedtime snack too. 

I would suggest doing this an hour or two before bed so your child can properly digest the food

Hide and seek

Creating a good bedtime routine shouldn't just take place in the hours before bedtime, it needs to be done throughout the day.

It is therefore important that parents keep their children stimulated during the day.

For example, playing games such as peek a boo or hide and seek in the bedroom not only allow them to exercise their brain, but allow them to become more familiar with the room they associate with bedtime. 

Encouraging children to play fun games with you, as a parent, will allow them to be less scared or fearful of this space and instead help them to view it as a room of fun and enjoyment.