Summer. Can’t wait for it to get here—can’t wait for it to be over. The new school year is just around the corner and now is time to pull in the reins and get ready for school and it starts with your child’s school sleeping schedule. That lazy crazy summer sleeping schedule has got to go. If you don’t start modifying your child’s sleeping schedule before schools starts you will be fighting a very long and very tiring battle.
Children between 3-5 years old need 10-13 hours of sleep per night. Do the math. Your kids are going to have to go to bed earlier to get up earlier than they do in the summer. Here a couple very helpful hints that will make the transition easier.
When to Start Your Child’s School Sleeping Schedule
- Don’t wait to the day before school starts to try and change bedtime schedules.
- Start 2-3 weeks before school starts to begin changing your child’s bedtime.
- You need to remove all of the active stimuli before putting your children to bed to give them time to wind down. Put away toys, games and all screens.
- Studies show that blue light emitting screens (e.g. computers, TVs, iPad, phones, etc.) can cause disruption in sleeping patterns because we associate blue light with the sun which keeps us awake.
- Put a limit to the number of books you read each night.
- A dark cool room is best for sleeping.
Bedtime Routines for a Better School Sleeping Schedule
Bedtime rituals help your child ease from day time to sleepy time. Children love predictable situations. Make bedtime a positive and loving end to their day.
1. The 10 Minute Warning
Make sure you give your child a 10 minute warning before bedtime. A heads up helps your child understand that it is time to end their activity and it will soon be time for bedtime.
2. Take a Warm Bath
You know how we love a warm bath at end of day with a lovely glass of wine. Your child will too, of course ditch the wine. This is a great opportunity to talk about their day and what they have scheduled the next. This should be a quiet soothing conversation. Please stay on the positive.
3. Brushing Your Teeth
Children love to brush their teeth with fun toothbrushes and toothpaste. Use this as a way to create simple routines with fun aspects to them allow your child to begin their own settle down process. Important hygiene habits are formed when we are young so start his now. Check out these cute tooth brush holders your kids will love.
4. Slip Into Your Favorite PJs
Your kid’s favorite PJs create a great incentive to get ready for bedtime. Disney characters are always a big hit as well as cartoon characters and superheroes. Protip: buy more than one of your kids favorite PJs. That way you always have a clean set to go.
5. Read a Book/Sing a Song
Set the ground rules in the beginning the number of books you will read at bedtime. No scary monster books. Pleasant thoughts make pleasant dreams. I always sang a song to my son when I tucked him in at night. That was his cue that it is time to sleep. Pick songs with a soothing slow melody. Don’t start jumping to the Wiggles when it’s time for bed. Goodnight Moon is the classic bedtime story that every child in the world loves.
6. Wish Upon A Star
I love wishing upon a star. Look out the window and help your child make a wish. Write it down, date it and put it in a mason jar. You and your child will delight in reading them one day in the future. It would very easy to make your own wishing jar; better yet let your child help you make it.
7. Stick to Your Guns
Set a time to go to sleep and stick to it. If your child calls out for you do not go into the room. If your child comes out of the room walk them back to bed with very little dialogue. I know, it sounds a little harsh and hard to do because you want to give your kids everything. But, stick with it and in a very short time bedtime will become a ritual you will both enjoy.
Tell us about your bedtime rituals and how you get your child on a school sleeping schedule.