After Daylight Saving Time, a lot of parents experience trouble getting their kids to bed at a decent time. Besides the time change messing up their schedules, it’s now also starting to stay light outside at what is normally kids’ bedtimes, making it difficult to get your children to settle down for the night. Parents deal with many battles over the course of the day with their children. Here are some tips to help keep bedtime from being one of them:
Set Individualized Bedtimes
All kids are different, which means not all kids necessarily thrive on the same bedtime. Babies, toddlers, and young children need about 12 hours of sleep per night, so if they normally rise around 7 am, try aiming for a 7pm bedtime and sticking to it. School-aged children need slightly less sleep (9-11 hours), so they can have a slightly later bedtime if that works best for them and your own family dynamics.
Create a Routine
A structured bedtime routine helps encourage a more natural sleep in your little ones. Once the routine is set and followed, their brains will subconsciously associate the routine with falling asleep. Structure is great for all children and it doesn’t even need to be elaborate. Start with wind-down activities which help get them ready for bed (jammies on, brush teeth, bedtime story, lights out).
A wind-down activity can be incorporated into a routine, or just something you do before getting your little ones ready for bed. The activity should be calm and soothing, getting them ready to be relaxed. This could be as simple as a bedtime story, or an activity to get them ready for bed (like singing a song about getting pajamas on or brushing teeth).
Limit Pre-Bed Screen Time
Research has shown that blue light, emitted from televisions, smart phones, and computer screens, can interfere with the production of the hormone melatonin. Melatonin is an important part of the sleep-wake cycle, which helps regulate when you are tired.
Just half an hour of using a screen before bed can disrupt the melatonin supply and keep your child awake for up to two extra hours! Make their bedroom a screen-free zone, and avoid using screen time as a wind-down activity before bedtime.
At Sunny Day Academy, we care about your kids! We offer quality care and education for infants through kindergartners as well as before- and after-school care for children ages six to twelve. Through hands-on learning experiences in an atmosphere of support, children at Sunny Day Academy actively learn, develop, and achieve. Contact us today!