University studies parents for tricks to get kids to sleep

Emma Yardy with children, L-R Leila Wallace (5), Scarlett Wallace (9mths) and Siena Yardy (6). Emma has tips on getting young children to sleep. Photo: Chris Ison / The Morning Bulletin
Emma Yardy with children, L-R Leila Wallace (5), Scarlett Wallace (9mths) and Siena Yardy (6). Emma has tips on getting young children to sleep. Photo: Chris Ison / The Morning Bulletin Chris Ison

HAVING a routine is key for Rockhampton's Emma Yardy, when it comes to getting the kids to bed.

Tea and baths are done by 6pm, with the kids in bed shortly after.

"You need persistence, and to stick to a routine as much as possible," Emma said.

While Emma has her ways of getting the kids off to sleep, CQUniversity is researching sleep and settling strategies for infants and toddlers.

Researcher Hayley Etherton, from CQUniversity's Appleton Institute in Adelaide, said sleep experts knew little about the methods parents used to cope with sleep issues.

"One thing I haven't been able to find is what your average parent does to get information on how to settle kids - do they read the books, speak to other parents and how to do they judge this information and do they use it?" she said.

Emma who has three kids, Siena, 6, her step-daughter Leila, 5, and Scarlett, nine-months, has learnt all the tricks by the time her youngest was born.

"My partner and I have always been blessed to have help from other parents; and I always take their advice," Emma said.

"I don't read the books though, I've never found them helpful for myself; I really just look at trial and error."

Meanwhile Hayley is hoping parents will give their input as part of her research.

Parents can head to for more information on the research or take part in the survey at

The research project is funded by the CQUniversity Health CRN.

Topics:  children parenting sleeping

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