Do your kids struggle with a bad attitude because they didn’t get enough sleep? Setting a functional bedtime routine for back to school is a must. It can be tough, but there are a few basic tips that make it much easier to manage, and still keep your kids happy in the process.
Setting A Functional Bedtime Routine For Back To School
Early bedtimes are a must for most kids, but making that change from the lax summer bedtime to new earlier hours can just be frustrating. Kids will argue, push limits, and complain. Adults will give in or get angry because their kids aren’t following the rules. The question is – how do you set a functional bedtime routine for kids without creating an argument? We have some easy steps to help you along the way.
Pay attention to their natural sleep habits.
There are many charts out there that tell you kids need anything from 9 to 13 hours of sleep at night. While those averages are true, it is also true that each individual person has a different need. You can force your children into an unnatural sleep pattern for their body, or your can take the time to pay attention to their natural occurring sleep habits.
Start a few weeks before school starts and watch what average time your kids go to sleep and wake up naturally. This won’t determine their exact bedtime for school days, but it will help you know how they act and behave with that amount of sleep, and if it works well for them. Let them sleep until their body wakes them naturally. Once you find a pattern, accept that as their natural need. You can then determine what time should be their bedtime during school to get enough rest to wake up at the necessary time for school.
Test out how much time they need to get ready in the morning.
The big reason you need a set bedtime is to make mornings easier. Do a few practice runs for you morning school routine to figure out how long it actually takes your kids to get ready. Sometimes you’ll find they only need a half hour, and in other instances you may need to get them up an hour before time to leave. A test run can help you to figure out the best time to set your alarm, thus the best time to go to bed.
Start the adjustment early.
Don’t wait until the last day to get your kids adjusted to the new bedtime. Start 2-3 weeks early with a slow transition. It is highly recommended that you make this adjustment slowly. Start with 15-30 minute changes at a time until you reach the bedtime you think is best for your kids. This will help them ease into the new bedtime and make it easier for them to simply go to bed and fall asleep the days before school starts without a struggle.
Adjust bedtimes for each child appropriately.
Many families will have various ages of kids to deal with. Remember that tip about watching your kids natural sleep habits? Apply this to each individual child. Assigning varying bedtimes is a must for each kid to function best. Sometimes this is just a half hour difference, but for many cases you will see younger children going to bed 1-2 hours before their older siblings. Stagger this out and create a night time routine that makes this easy to accomplish for everyone.
Turn off the electronics.
Many families spend evening hours watching TV or playing video games together. It’s a great past time, and one we also enjoy, but you have to set certain hours for this to make sure your kids are properly relaxed and settled for bed. That means turning the electronics off at a designated hour and making sure kids are doing quiet and relaxing things prior to bedtime.
It is also important to turn off radios, TV’s, and other distractions in your kids bedroom at bedtime. The lights an noise can keep them awake. Instead, if your kids need a white noise, invest in a noise machine, or running a fan. This can help them settle and be relaxed for sleep. Turning off TV before bedtime, and keeping it out of their bedrooms is a great way to help them settle mentally and prepare for bed and sleep.
Diffuse essential oils.
This is one of the best suggestions I have ever had. Essential oils can really be a wonderful addition to a functional bedtime routine. There are many great essential oils that have a calming effect and are safe for use around children. I prefer using chamomile and lavender and diffusing in the bathroom during their bath time, and in their bedroom prior to bedtime. The aromatherapy benefits of essential oils are a great way to help relax you kids into an easy bedtime routine.
As you get ready for the back to school season, take the time to get your kids into a functional bedtime routine ahead of time. A great night sleep can make a huge difference in your kids performance at school each day. Making sure they are happy, well-rested, and well-fed will ensure they have a great day at school, and you have fewer stresses.