Adjusting Kids Bedtime For School Nights
Back to School season is officially here and after months of late nights and late mornings, you find yourself struggling with what a good kids bedtime is and how to help your child adjust to school bedtimes. Actual bedtimes vary from family to family and child to child but there are a few basic rules that will help you on both ends of the day and make back to school an easy transition for all. These tips are great for all ages, including parents who may find their routine changing a bit as well with additional responsibilities that come with having school aged children.
1.) Gradually adjust your kids bedtime to an earlier time then they have been going to sleep. For most school aged children 8-10 hours of sleep at night is still necessary to be well rested. Depending on what time your child(ren) will be catching the school bus, or when you will be dropping them off at school each day, bedtimes may vary from as early as 7pm to as late as 10pm. If your child has been staying up significantly later during the summer month’s start at least 1 week (preferably 2) prior to school starting and adjust their bedtime in half hour increments until they reach the regular bedtime hour. Doing this over several nights helps them ease into an earlier bedtime and thus an earlier and easier time of waking up each morning.
2.) Create a relaxing kids bedtime routine. Turn the TV and game systems off at least an hour before their designated bedtime. Kids need time to wind down just like adults do. Our children take their baths right before bed at night since the warm water is soothing and relaxing. We even still use the lavender and chamomile blends of soap and lotion to help encourage relaxation and sleep. Reading a story as you put younger kids to bed is also a great way to help them relax and drift off easily.
3.) Encourage quiet throughout your home when the kids bedtime begins. If you have older children who will be staying up later than their younger siblings, create an environment of quiet and respect after the younger children are in bed. This means the TV remains off or on low volume so it does not disturb those trying to drift into slumber. Ask that other family members be respectful and not go stomping through the house, play loud music or otherwise be loud enough to disrupt the sleep of those already in bed. This rule applies to mom and dad as well. Being quiet throughout will help all involved wind down and help your child adjust to school night bedtimes.
4.) Keep the kids bedtime consistent every night of the week. Even though weekends often mean outings and extra activities, keeping your children’s bedtimes within a close time frame every night helps avoid the meltdowns every Monday morning when they have to get up early again to head off to school.
5.) Curb extracurricular activities. In a sentence, don’t over book your child. As much as he or she may want to be in dance, football, soccer, basketball and band no person has the energy physically or emotionally to handle all of those things every day. Limit the extra activities so your child isn’t overly tired each night nor rushing when they get home to do homework, chores, etc. and still make it to bed on time.
Start following these kids bedtime tips now and you will easily transition back to school night bedtime routines in no time!