After some horrendous Spring weather, it’s starting to feel like Summer here in New Zealand. The downside to this gorgeous weather is hot, wiggly children who find it hard to get to sleep! Today I share my top tips for getting my sweaty sweeties to sleep on nights like these.

  1. Cool the room down BEFORE bedtime.

No one can fall asleep easily in a room as hot as an oven! So start cooling their bedroom down an hour beforehand so it’s as cool as possible AT bedtime.

  • Pull the curtains/blinds and open windows on the shady side of the house (or crank the air con)
  • Use a fan to circulate cool air

  1. Give the sleeping space a bit of a tidy!

A wiggly child might notice ‘all of the things’ and be distracted by them. Whip around, with or without your child, and give their room a tidy before bed. Most importantly put away ‘those things’ that they sneak out of bed to play with; LEGO, art supplies or games.

  1. Use a calming aroma in the bedroom and/or bath.

Lilies remind me of Christmas and fresh mint triggers memories of mojitos in my pre-children days! When you repeatedly use a calming aroma at bedtime, your child will begin to associate that scent with sleep. If you’re hoping for a ‘sniff and drop’ type of situation then repetition is the key! Here are some options:

  • Begin diffusing 2-6 drops of a calming essential oil in the bedroom, 20 minutes before bedtime
  • Place a few drops of essential oils in a cool bath, or the corners of the shower
  • Add 1 drop to a cotton ball and place by the pillow

Lavender, cedarwood and chamomile are just a few of the essential oils you could use.

  1. Carry out a relaxing bedtime routine.

You may be feeling excited to get your little darlings down for the night. Try not to show it though or they will get excited and you'll end up with less time to yourself. Keep the routine fairly similar because they will feel ‘ripped off’ and upset if you decide to skip the bedtime story. 

  • Read them a story in a kind, slow, quiet voice
  • Connect with them and tell them the things you’re proud of them for today
  • Reflect on the day, reassure them but in a way that will help to quiet their mind not stimulate it
  • Use ‘I am … ‘ statements to create the right mindset for sleep.

-I am relaxed.

-I am calm.

-I feel sleepy.

There is an effective sleep activity 'Good Night, Sleep Tight' on p98-99 of My Amazing Brain. It combines music, tone of voice and aroma for feeling calm and relaxed before bed. Have you tried it?

My Amazing Brain is a brain-based activity book for 4-10 year olds. It utilises the brain tools of connection, movement, nature, music, aroma and creativity for easy things to do with your kids which have a positive effect on their mood and your relationship with them.

  1. Use cooling tools

Kids all seem to have a Bachelor's Degree in Bedtime-Stalling-and-Distractions so be smart about how you use these cooling tools. If it’s a hot night, use them before they ask for them, to avoid the “Muuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuum, I’m hot/thirsty/hungry/itchy” type of scenario that parents are all-too-familiar with.

  • Ice cubes; great to suck or to place in a folded face cloth for hot heads!
  • Store wheat packs in the freezer; drape them over the forehead, neck, back or chest or sweaty sweeties (remember to return to the freezer each morning)
  • Peppermint essential oil in a body spray; add 5 drops to 100mls of water then spray over limbs, torso and hair but avoid the face, it’s tingly!

My Amazing Brain helps parents to navigate many common situations that we find ourselves in with our kids. It teaches you what small mammals need and how to hack their happiness by connecting with them and doing things that support healthy brain development and relationships. 

Visit to learn more or to purchase My Amazing Brain for each of your kids. As they complete the activities with their thoughts, ideas, drawings and special moments in time, it will be treasured for many years to come.


Victoria Jenkins is a primary school educator of 20+ years and mother of two. She inspires parents about brain development, personalised parenting and how to hack the happiness of small mammals/children.