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Establishing a Summer Bedtime Routine with Your Kids

By Kelly Ekardt 4 years ago 2601 Views No comments

Understanding your child’s sleep habits, how to help them fall asleep and giving them the ability to soothe themselves to sleep, will greatly affect the quality of their sleep as they get older, so it’s worth investing time and effort in early on. This can be especially important during summer time, when sunset is late and you’re putting your child to bed long before it gets dark.

Doing things like enforcing no screens before bedtime, giving your child a bath and a fresh pair of organic pyjamas, reading a book together and sticking to a routine will all help to establish a bedtime routine, ensuring both you and your little one sleep well.

No screens before bedtime

With such easy access to smartphones, tablets and computers at home, children often use these devices before going to bed. However, this is a time when they should be winding down and getting into sleep mode. The kind of stimulation kids get from using these devices may make sleep more difficult: watching exciting or scary films or playing tense video games directly before going to bed will make it harder to fall asleep peacefully.

Then there’s, of course, the fact that the light from screens stimulates the brain in a way that prevents sleep, by disrupting the body’s natural rhythms and suppressing melatonin production — the chemical in the brain that makes us sleepy.

By enforcing no screens of any kind an hour or so before bedtime, you will make the whole process of putting kids to bed and getting them off to sleep much easier. Make sure that you stick to this rule yourself too, so that your kids can’t catch you out on a double standard or get distracted by your screen themselves!

Have a bath and get dressed in fresh pyjamas

kids and mum in pajamas cuddling in bed | sense organics

In the hours leading up to bedtime, giving your child a bath can be a very soothing ritual. Not only will being clean help them to sleep better, but it serves as a great bonding exercise.

Some children will, of course, resist bathtime, but you can entice them by making it a fun experience. Bubbles are a good starting point for getting your child interested, but also consider special waterproof toys such as rubber ducks or washcloth puppets. If you don’t want to invest in those, use other low-tech items you’re likely to have lying around the kitchen. Tupperware containers, measuring cup and funnels will all work a treat.

Once your little one is all shiny and clean, dress them in a nice fresh pair of organic pyjamas — available for both girls and boys. Having the feeling of being fresh, clean and cosy will help your child settle down and be more easily soothed to sleep.

Read a book together

mommy and kids reading a book in before sleeping | sense organics

Once in bed, take the time to settle into a comfortable position (for both parent and child) and use the opportunity to read a book or share some other experience together. There will likely be a stage when your child wants to be read the same story over and over again, so try to be patient with them and perhaps add embellishments with each new telling for your own amusement —  why not see if they can spot the differences?

Reading together is another good bonding experience, and can also allow your little one to be soothed into a relaxed state by the familiar sound of your voice and perhaps some accompanying gentle caresses of their hair.

Try not to let them get too reliant on having you there right until they fall asleep, however. Whenever possible, it’s always better to leave your child to soothe themselves to sleep so that they are then able to go back to sleep without assistance from you if they wake up in the middle of the night.

Routine is key

It’s important that once you’ve established your bedtime routine with your child, you stick to it. As much as possible, try not to allow outside factors, such as longer daylight hours in summer, having guests over in the evening or school holidays, to influence your child’s bedtime routine. This way, they will know what to expect, they’ll sleep better and you’ll be able to have some time to yourself in the evenings too!

Take time to work out the routine that works best for you and your child. There is no one size fits all answer, so while the points laid out here may not be exactly the best match for you and your child, they are a good starting point. Experiment a little, and try not to stress out if it doesn’t work perfectly straight away!

Check out our range of pyjamas for boys and girls to help your little one feel snug and cozy at night!