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Curled up in dog baskets, face-down in their dinner and hidden inside cupboards are among the weird places the nation’s pre-schoolers have fallen asleep, a study found.

Research revealed younger kids are unlikely to pass up the opportunity for 40 winks – even if it means having a quick kip behind the sofa or in a laundry basket.

They have also been known to nod off in supermarket trolleys, on the potty and even while standing-up.

Commissioned by the makers of In The Night Garden, ahead of this Sunday’s clock change, the research of 1,000 parents of kids aged five and under found their kids will sleep somewhere unusual three times a month on average.

A spokeswoman for In The Night Garden said: “As specialists in early years television we know through our work with very young children that their bodies develop at their fastest between the ages of zero and five.

“In that short space of time they learn to walk, talk and socialise and that uses up a lot of energy, so it’s not surprising that fatigue sometimes sets in, some rather unusual places.”

Other more unusual sleep locations include on window sills behind curtains, half in and out of their beds and midway up the stairs.

Parents polled also revealed their children have caught some Z’s on the floor, on doorsteps and even in the garage.

Three quarters of mums and dads admit the temptation to get a photo or video of their cute kids sleeping somewhere unusual is too hard to resist.

On average they have uploaded three clips or pics to social media to share with friends, family and followers.

And while you’d be hard pushed to find someone who doesn’t smile at the sight of a child sleeping somewhere bizarre, six in 10 worry their kids won’t sleep properly if they nod off during the day.

In fact, two thirds said one of the biggest challenges is getting their little ones to sleep when and where they should – rather than face-down in their dinner or on the kitchen floor.

In fact, they’ll typically have a battle on their hands to get them to bed seven times a month.

And when they do finally go to sleep they won’t make it through the night without waking on 15 occasions during an average four-week period.

The In The Night Garden research carried out through OnePoll found seven in 10 mums and dads polled consider their children to be good sleepers.

A spokeswoman for In The Night Garden added: “As little ones are carried into a happy, calming world of music and nursery rhymes, the programme can be used at home to signal the start of your little one’s bedtime or naptime routine.

“Try using it to sooth and relax them and help you get them snuggled into bed without any fuss.”

* CBeebies have partnered with Mandy Gurney, founder of the Millpond Sleep Clinic to provide helpful tips on creating a bedtime routine to help get your child to sleep every night.


Establish a regular routine for your child’s bedtime preparations that begins about 30 to 40 minutes before your child goes to bed.

Carry out the same steps, in the same order every night.

Having a regular routine means your child’s body will start to prepare for sleep as soon as you start this process.

Signal that the bedtime routine is about to start by watching a relaxing, calming show like In the Night Garden.


A warm, relaxing bath will help relax your child.

Keep it quite short – no longer than 10 minutes.

But this should not be playtime as this could over stimulate your tired child.

Washing hands and cleaning teeth can be done in the bathroom before you all go straight into the bedroom.

Avoid going back into the living area, as you will lose the focus and magic of the routine.


Dim the lights in the bedroom ready for your return from the bath- this will help with the production of the sleep hormone melatonin.


Have all your little ones’ night clothes ready for your return from the bathroom so they can quickly get dressed and climb into bed.


Read one or two stories or sing a gentle lullaby.

Have a cuddle and kiss goodnight and tuck them in with their favourite soft toy so they are warm and cosy.


Now that they’re drowsy, leave the bedroom so that they learn to fall asleep independently. Your child should be asleep about 15 minutes later.

For further tips and to download a bedtime reward chart for your children click here []


1. In their high chair

2. Flat out on the floor

3. Half in and half out of the bed

4. In a supermarket trolley

5. Face-down in their dinner

6. Under their bed

7. Standing up

8. Using a pet for a pillow

9. Halfway up the stairs

10. On the toilet

11. On or under the coffee table

12. On the kitchen table

13. On a potty

14. In the dog bed

15. Behind the curtains

16. In the laundry basket

17. In a cupboard

18. On the doorstep

19. In a bed shop / IKEA, on one of the beds

20. In the garage


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