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parents panel

Parents Panel: What one item has made it easier for your little one to fall asleep?

Blackout blinds, bottles with slow teats and YouTube videos – our panel weighs in.


AS PART OF’s weekly Family Magazine, we wanted to create a space for parents to share their views. A place where mums and dads could share their experiences, lessons learned, and even mistakes along the way. 

Getting your baby (or toddler, or preschooler…) to drift off can be a nightly challenge. So anything that helps that process along is a winner. This week as asked our panel what their bedtime lifesavers are.

What one item has made it easier for your little one to fall asleep?

Here’s what they had to say…

Parents Panel All 7 - Copy - Copy Top L-R: Olly Keegan, Alan Dooley, Denise, Ken Hyland. Middle L-R: Ríona Flood, Ross Boxshall, Marta Lisiecka, Denise Cumiskey. Bottom L-R: Kait Quinn, Susannah O’Brien, Derek McInerney, Suzie Kelly

A bottle with a slow teat: We don’t travel without our noisemaker which is typically set to ‘rain’. Aside from that, we still rely on the bottle. Charlie always used to fall asleep on a feed when I was breastfeeding and I guess we haven’t broken the habit. He gets a nice big bottle right before bed which helps settle him before he goes into the cot. We use one of the slow teats so it draws it out.

- Kait Quinn

YouTube videos… and patience: Ellie Mae loves watching You Tube videos of kids opening toys, so she goes to bed with her older sister who is seventeen and has been falling asleep watching videos. But really the key thing is to have patience. I have tried lots of things and she has yet to sleep a full night!

- Denise Cumiskey

shutterstock_175360661 Shutterstock / Twin Design Shutterstock / Twin Design / Twin Design

We have a set routine: We use a combination of things, but none of them alone would work: a snack before bed, soft toys in the bed, story time or music time, a hug, a goodnight kiss… But really it’s about tiredness and silence.

- Ross Boxshall

Blackout blinds: I would say they are essential. We went glamping last year and our son kept wanting us to “turn the light off” – it was the sun! Apart from that, it’s the usual of no screens in his bedroom – just playtime and storytime before he is tucked in.

- Olly Keegan

A well-chosen story or book: Our kids both love made up stories (‘stories from your head’) so I generally get them into bed lying down with one of those. But lately we’ve found our three year old getting hyper with the story, so we switched to Where’s Wally books which has worked to calm him down slightly.

- Denise

shutterstock_35527759 Shutterstock / Stephanie Frey Shutterstock / Stephanie Frey / Stephanie Frey

Captain Blue, the teddy bear: When the kids were young, favourite Teddy bears were a must, as were particular blankets. Nathan had a favourite teddy bear, Captain Blue, that he wouldn’t sleep without. Captain Blue still lives with us today!

- Ken Hyland

Want to win two nights in the lush Sligo countryside at the four-star Radisson Blu Hotel? Enter here – and don’t forget to subscribe to our Family Newsletter in the box below.

More Parents Panel: When did your little one start sleeping through the night?>

More Parents Panel: What’s one thing your child just won’t eat?>

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