I’m guessing (though I have no proof) that one of the most Googled sentences by parents is "how to get kids to go to sleep".
You’d think it would be straightforward, after all, us parents are so exhausted at the end of the day that we’d sleep through a thunderstorm. Unfortunately, even after running around at lightning speed all day, most children will still come up with any excuse to avoid going to bed. The bad news is that after a summer of relaxed bedtime routines, it’s even more of a nightmare trying to get them back on track. Here are some tips for making bedtime a breeze after the summer holidays.
The Early Bird Catches The Worm
The first step in getting them to go to bed earlier at night is to get them up earlier in the morning. Adjust their routine gradually and by the time their first day of school arrives, they won’t get such a shock about having to get up first thing. Don’t skip the weekends either, consistency is key! The drawback is that if you’ve been lucky enough to enjoy a lie-in, that will be a thing of the past. On a positive note, you will get your child-free evenings back.
Meals On Wheels
Of course, if they’re going to bed an hour or two earlier, they’ll need to eat their evening meal earlier too. Time to get meal planning! If I won the lottery, a personal chef would be the first person I would call.
Help reset your child’s internal clock by getting them outside for lots of fresh air and natural daylight in the morning and avoid them being exposed to blue light from devices an hour before they go to bed. The same rules should apply to us adults too!
If you’ve yet to invest in blackout blinds for your children’s rooms, now could be the time to do it. It’s very hard to convince children it’s bedtime when the sun’s still out. In addition, soundproof curtains will stop outside noise from interfering with them drifting off.
The nightly bath might have stopped over the summer but it’s time to bring it back! Relaxing and playing in the warm, soapy water is a great way to wind down before bed, so it serves more of a purpose than simply getting them clean.
Story Of My Life
Finally, there’s no better way to switch off than listening to a story. Choose a book together with a gentle, soothing tone (no monsters allowed) and keep everything crossed that they fall asleep before you do!