I never though I would survive this summer - honestly, I loved spending so much quality time with my kids and we packed lots of fun things in, but I am going to confess, I am super excited about school going back
The first few weeks after the kids get back to class or nursery can be a little irregular. Usually because we’ve been letting them stay up late.
Returning them to a proper schedule can be a bit of an ordeal, but don’t worry. I’ve got you covered. Here are a few strategies to get your little ones’ snooze cycle back in sync
Don’t wait until the night before!
6 or 7 weeks of later bedtimes and holiday fun isn’t something you can just snap back from in a night. Your child is going to need some time to adjust, so one (maybe two) week(s) before school’s go back, start moving bedtimes back by 15-30 minutes every 3 nights or so.
Turn off those screens
Computer, TV, and phone screens all emit blue light, which tricks our internal clocks into thinking that it’s still daytime. If you want my advice, power down the electronics at dinnertime and keep them off until the next morning. (This goes for parents too - eek!)
The Bedtime Routine
It doesn’t matter if your child is going into primary one or starting High School. A good sleep routine is essential. Some good examples of bedtime routine activities include a glass of water or a light snack, a bath, getting pyjamas on, stories, happy thoughts about their day, and so on. The purpose of the routine is to act as a system of cues for your child’s body and brain; it lets them know that the time for sleep is near. It should be in the same order every night and move in a step-by-step fashion. For younger kids a chart with the steps can be super useful (if anything simply to use as a conversation piece with them when setting expectations)
Agree an appropriate bedtime
Every child is different, so you probably have a good idea when they should go to bed. Parents can talk to their child and agree a sensible bedtime together. I like to use some tools to help with this, one is my sleep calculators and the other are sleep recommendations here from the national sleep foundation – if you would like a FREE copy of my sleep calculators please type calculators in the comments and I will send it to you.
Keep the room cool and dark
The sun is still staying up late and getting up early through September, so make sure the blinds in your child’s room are blocking it out. The sun also has a habit of heating up the bedrooms, so set the thermostat somewhere between 60 and 70 degrees an hour before bedtime.
Allow some reading time
Whether you’re reading to your kids or they’re reading on their own, a half hour of book time is a great way to wind down before going to sleep. The repetitive eye motion and low-level brain activity is a natural sedative. (Which is why so many of us find ourselves falling asleep while reading to our kids.