Is Your Child Or Baby Not Sleeping But Heading Back To School Or Daycare?
Chances are at this point in the summer there isn’t much of a bedtime routine left! It’s important to evaluate what is needed in your child’s bedtime routine once school starts, make necessary changes and reintroduce the routine ahead of time.
Start by making a list of elements that you feel should be incorporated into the bedtime (and possibly the pre-bedtime) routine. For example, is your child old enough now that you want them to help in the preparation of their lunch or snacks for school? Do you want your child to pick out their clothes the night before? Is a bath or shower every night necessary, or realistic?
Too much screen time in the window before bedtime can have a negative impact on your child’s sleep.
Things to help you sleep
Certain elements of the bedtime routine are non-negotiable like brushing teeth, and certain elements can be eliminated. If you have been allowing your child to use electronics just before bed, it’s best to move away from that habit now. Too much screen time in the window before bedtime can have a negative impact on your child’s sleep. How much sleep do kids need? Most children need 10-12 hours per night. So if the summer has them going to bed too late or waking too early, time to get them back on track.
Steps for successfully reintroducing your child’s bedtime routine:
- Think about what elements should be incorporated in the routine.
- Determine a time line for how long the routine is expected to take.
- Work backwards from bedtime (lights out) to establish what time your child’s routine needs to start.
- Don’t forget to address any commitments for extra-curricular activities that could impact your child’s bedtime.
- Make a list of the new routine and hang it up for everyone to see.
- Discuss the expectations with your child.
- If necessary, use pictures for each element of the bedtime routine for younger children so that they can follow along.
- Most importantly, have your child practice the new routine before school starts.
Dr. Dina’s Quick Tips:
- Re-evaluate your child’s bedtime routine.
- Remove electronics at least one hour before bedtime.
- Start practicing the routine at least one week before school starts.
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Rebecca is an infant and child sleep consultant and founder of The Sugar Plum Sleep Co. She is an only child (because she never slept as an infant), a mother of two young boys and an HGTV addict.