If you’re struggling with getting your school aged children to bed this a must read!
If you’re a busy mom with multiple children the back to school time can be a hectic time to get children adjusted to the new schedule. I know my oldest son always has trouble adjusting to going to bed earlier than usual. However, getting the kids adjusted to their new sleep schedule is both beneficial to both the child/ren, younger siblings and the parents.
I’ve been looking for ways to help my own children get to sleep faster and easier, and each school year we struggle staying on routine at bedtime. Especially, when the days are longer and the kids spend more time outside in the warmer weather.
8 Tips To A Better Bedtime:
The whole family adjusts to a new sleep schedule – Having the whole family change their sleep schedule helps children fall asleep faster and stay in bed. When we put our children to bed we all “go to bed” as well, this helps them know that someone is there with them and eliminates constant getting out of bed.
Set a sleep schedule for each person – School aged children need anywhere between 9 and 12 hours of sleep a night. A great rest helps them focus on the day ahead, especially at school.
Routine & Consistency– Set a routine for your children, I personally try to get the kids in bed by 9 pm, but sometimes that’s not realistic due to delayed dinner, after school activities etc. Setting up a definite bedtime time will help children wind down and they will know by a certain time that it’s time to get ready for bed. Being consistent with your routine is another great tool for helping with those bedtime blues.
Meals, drinks, and snacks – Avoid large meals before bedtime; most people eat dinner between 5 and 6 pm, this gives you plenty of time to digest your food and relax. Children should avoid caffeine up to 6 hours before bedtime; caffeine stimulates the mind. Giving a child a small snack before bed will help with those “I’m hungry, I’m thirsty” tricks to get out of bed. Perhaps, a glass of milk and cookies are a good snack before bed.
Proper sleep environment – Having a proper sleep environment is extremely beneficial to getting kids to sleep early. Lower the thermostat at night, close the blinds and curtains, dress comfortably and warmly to bed.
Relaxing bedtime activity – Start a relaxing bedtime activity, such as playing with toys, coloring, reading etc. Avoid visual stimulants such as TV and electronics 2 hours before bedtime.
Be on the lookout for sleep problems – If it seems like nothing works or your child won’t fall asleep without the TV, lights or music on you may have a sleep issue. Discuss with your child’s doctor to see what options are available to your family and work together to find the best option.
Setup a consistent wake-up time – Start a regular wake-up time especially during school nights; once your body adjusts to the schedule kids will start waking up on their own. I usually wake my kids up 20 minutes til 7 am even though their buses don’t come up until an hour later. This gives them time to relax, eat breakfast, and anything they may have forgotten the night before without having to be rushed. It also gives them time to wake up and get their minds going.