Children are soon ending a long break from their last “normal” day at school. This is a time when I typically receive many questions about getting children back on their sleep schedule. However, this year could prove to be a bigger task than most if late nights, sleeping in, and a lack of routine have been happening regularly. Here are my top sleep tips for getting sleep back on track by September!
Get back on track now.
When does your child’s school day start and how much time is needed to have breakfast, get ready and commute to school? How much sleep is needed for your child? Make sure they are getting to bed early and receiving the appropriate amount of sleep for their age.
Have a bedtime routine.
Start working with a consistent bedtime routine each night. If bedtime has been later than it will be when school begins, start to adjust your child’s clock by 15 minutes every couple of days until you arrive at the desired bedtime.
Make sure some time outdoors with fresh air is happening regularly. The best hours will be when the school day is complete. This allows time to take a break, have some exercise, and get some fresh air. Hydrating properly, eating healthy food and having dedicated time to spend together as a family will also help maintain positive mental health for your child and the entire family. Placing importance in these areas will help your child sleep more easily at night.
Prepare you child for a different kind of school year.
Has your family decided to learn at home or attend school? Are they aware of what a “cohort” is or the importance of social distancing? Have some simple conversations about what school will be like:
- What are they looking forward to?
- Explain how the school year might look different and how some things might feel okay for them and some might feel different. Maintain a positive outlook while listening and validating their thoughts. If they are worried or concerned find ways to reassure them.
- Discuss the importance of proper handwashing and wearing a mask if it is necessary.
Keeping your child aware and keeping their mind at ease, can decrease the chance that your child will have a difficult time sleeping at night.
Have questions about sleep for your child or yourself as we approach new routines this September? I welcome you to call and schedule a free consultation here.
Who doesn’t love summer with barbecues, the beach and holidays?? There is so much to enjoy and look forward to. But with little ones who thrive on sleep routines, it can really throw a wrench into those carefree summer days.
Who wants to mess with nap times or bedtime? Certainly not this Sleep Consultant or many of my clients who are now track. As a wife and mom myself who loves routine and in working with families, I have learned that there is a balance that needs to be considered concerning bedtimes and families having fun together. Here are my top tips to help keep your child’s sleep routine on track while enjoying some much needed flexibility.
1. Plan ahead
If you have a family holiday or weekend event planned when your child will be out past his bedtime, be prepared and plan ahead! Look at your summer schedule a month, as well as a week, in advance. Decide which events and outings will likely happen and plan strategies that will make this more manageable.
- Make sure that your child is well rested beforehand by planning less exhausting days with built in rest periods and “downtime”.
- If your child’s bedtime is going to be much later than usual, consider asking if there would be a separate room or space for your child to sleep while you visit. Bring the “pack and play” and a sound machine (if used at home) to help your child fall asleep with some familiar pieces. Plan ahead and bring the necessary and reassuring items from home.
- Use room darkening shades. Gro blinds are a wonderful product that you can bring with you and set up anywhere to create a perfect environment for sleep!
As we know, consistency is important as it gives structure and reassurance to kids. Some tips to perhaps keep in mind.
- Do not put your child to bed later than 30 minutes past his bedtime. If you are staying out very late, plan a place where he can sleep.
- Replicate the bedtime routine or at least most of it. This is a strong cue to your child that it is time to wind down and prepare for sleep.
3. Get Back on Track
Summer is a season when families can quickly and easily get derailed with maintaining a solid sleep routine. When you are back from vacationing and returning to more regular days at home, it is important to return to your tried and true sleep routines. You may need to put your little one to bed 30 minutes earlier for a week following a very busy holiday so that everyone (yes, parents may also need an early bedtime!) can get caught up on much needed sleep!
4. Enjoy the Flexibility of Summer
Summer days come and go so quickly. Soon we will be rushing back to our usual routines in the fall. So make it a priority and enjoy this very special time!
Set up a complimentary 15 minute call with Diane for more solutions for your child’s sleep!