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Back to School Tips: How to establish a good bedtime routine
As summer winds down and with it those late nights of chasing fireflies in the backyard until way past bedtime slowly fade. September can be a real buzz kill when it comes to getting back on a schedule—especially for those mamas with little ones starting school in the fall. Not getting enough sleep can have seriously negative effects on kids. From developmental delays to behavior issues, sleep deprivation is not something you want to deal with. So how best to establish a good bedtime routine for kids before school starts? Here, some of the top tips from experts:
Consistency is Key!
Keep your child’s bedtime consistent every night. Set a reasonable bedtime to ensure your little one is getting the recommended sleep hours per night. For a three to five-year-old child, the recommended amount of sleep is 10 to 13 hours at night. This means adhering to the same bedtime even on the weekends.
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Allow for Time to Wind Down
As mamas, we know taking a hot shower or relaxing in bed with a good book can do wonders for our relaxation and get us in the mood for nighty-night. Kids also need a period about 30 minutes to one hour to ease into bedtime. During this transition time, allow for your little one to bathe, get in their PJs, brush their teeth and sneak in some snuggle time with you and a favorite book. You can make the pre-snooze time fun for them by asking them help choose shower or bath, which pajamas they want to wear, and what book they want to read.
Remove All Distractions from the Bedroom
This mostly pertains to electronics of any kind. Don’t let your child get used to a TV, iPad or computer in their room. Even if they promise to turn off their device before bedtime, you never really know what goes on behind closed doors. It’s best not to go there in the first place.
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Let Your Child Fall Asleep on Their Own
Admit it, you spent many nights lulling your little to sleep in your arms when they were a baby. And there’s certainly a time and place for co-sleeping when your child is a baby, but once they get older it’s time to get them used to falling asleep on their own. As delicious as it is to drift off in your munchkin’s bed with them, the trouble begins if they wake up in the middle of the night and realize you’re not there anymore. Most kids check to make sure their sleeping conditions are the same as they were when they fell asleep, and your absence could be enough to fully wake them from a light slumber. Instead, make sure to say goodnight after cuddling and book reading. If your child knows they can easily get you back in the room by calling your name over and over again then avoid coming back—kids know exactly how to condition their parents, so don’t be fooled!