Can you believe that we’re halfway through August? And that means back to school preparations are in full swing for parents and kids. So much to do: school supplies, clothes shopping, haircuts, rearranging schedules and so on.
But the best way to start your child off right, is by ensuring they are well rested before school starts. And I have 6 back to school sleep tips that will ensure that your preschooler to senior, is back on track, sleep wise at least.
I know... I’m a child sleep consultant and you may think that I’m going to brow beat you for the late bedtimes, inconsistent schedules, or any of the many “unadvisables” that may have happened over your summer vacation.
Heck no! I’m a mother myself and I know how fleeting these summer months are. You want to squeeze every minute of joy and togetherness you can from these glorious days. If it’s a choice between consistent bedtimes and staying up to watch the fireworks, I mean c’mon. That’s no choice at all. Even my own kiddo got to stay up on occasion to chase the fireflies and watch fireworks.
So, no matter what may have happened over the summer, those memories will last a lifetime. Now, the mission is to get your child back on track so that they can get back to sleep at a reasonable hour before they head back to school.
Now, let’s get to those sleep tips I promised!
The spring time change, AKA, the beginning of daylight saving time, is coming! Love it or hate it, we have schedules to keep and making sure your child doesn’t lose an hour of sleep is important. In the spring, we turn our clocks ahead one hour, which means that if you do nothing to prepare for it, you and your family may find it difficult to make your mind and body fall asleep 1 hour before it is used to. But it can also be a blessing for families with a child that likes to wake up before 7 a.m.
If you want a simple, but gentler approach to just making your child go to bed and nap 1 hour earlier, I recommend doing it in 2 steps. For example, if your toddler usually takes a nap around 12:30 p.m., adjust this to 12:00 p.m. for the three days before the time change.
With the holidays fast approaching, many parents who worked really hard getting their babies and toddlers sleeping well on a schedule are worried that they might regress a little (or a lot) over the holidays.
You are not crazy, this is a realistic fear.
Between the travel, excitement, constant attention and then travel all over again, the holidays are the single easiest way to throw all of your hard work out with the wrapping paper and turkey bones.
But I’m going to tell you, it doesn’t have to be that way! With some strategic planning and an iron will, you can keep that carefully orchestrated routine running just the way you did at home.
There are two major obstacles to your little one’s sleep over the holidays. One is travel and the other is family and friends, so I want to tackle both of those topics individually.
First off, travel.
Love it or hate it, daylight saving time is ending. This time of year, we will “Fall Back” an hour. As a parent, we know that our children thrive off structure and predictability. That’s why going to bed at the same time every night and waking up at the same time every morning works so well with them. So, what is the best way to handle this extra hour, without the wheels on the bus flying off?
It all depends on the time frame you have to prepare and what works best for your family.
Life is hard when you're not sleeping. As a Certified Pediatric Sleep Consultant, I teach families how to live a well-rested life.