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Back to School, Back to Routines

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Many parents get thrown off when summer comes and school is out. For those with a child who does not sleep well to begin with, all the extra summer fun, bright sunshine and being on the go can make things worse and leave mom and dad feeling more exhausted than ever. In other cases, parents may have an amazing little sleeper, but due to more events, summertime fun and late night ice-cream shop visits, sleep can go sideways and, come fall, their dreamy sleeper has become, well, not so dreamy anymore.

Getting off track with naps and bedtimes

Of course, there will be times when your child falls asleep in the car or stroller during your busy summer travels. However, these should be a rarity, not the norm, if you can help it. Ensuring your child has as many proper naps as possible (in an appropriate sleep space), and always getting your child to bed within 30 minutes of their normal bedtime will help your little one remain well rested and content during your travels.

Losing consistency

During the summer, it can be easy to break your usual routine. But babies and toddlers LOVE consistency and predictability, so it is always best to help them understand what is coming next. Resist the urge to skip your regular bedtime routine and instead just pull your toddler out of the festivities and plunk them into bed. Your child will respond much better if you are consistent with your routine. Whether you are in the middle of a party at a friend’s house or you have to put your child down at Grandma’s house, doing your full bedtime routine (bath, PJs, books, etc.) will help your child wind down for the night.

Sugary goodies

No more marshmallows or ice cream trucks! Getting your child to bed during the excitement and giddiness of the summer can be difficult enough without the added sugar! Limit sugary goodies as much as possible, particularly within a couple of hours of bedtime, to give your child the best chance for winding down quickly and slipping into a nice, peaceful sleep.

Overscheduling

Summers are busy! With party invitations, open houses, potlucks, BBQs and cottage trips, social calendars can fill up very quickly during the summer. Before the kids go back to school, try to avoid overscheduling your calendar. Attempting to please everyone by accepting every invitation could lead to missed naps and late bedtimes, which can lead to temper tantrums and meltdowns from your otherwise content and happy child!

Back to school season is a busy and often stressful time. Simplify things. Slow down. Bring routines and consistency back. Your kids will thank you and so will your body! They need sleep and so do you.

Lisa Kvapil is a certified Infant and Toddler Sleep Consultant with WeeSleep. She creates customized sleep plans for families who are struggling with sleep from birth to 8 years of age. She helps families live rested. Call  1844 933 1210 x120 for a FREE 15-MINUTE CONSULTATION on how to get better sleep for your family! 

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