As parents, we want to give our children the best in everything, including summer memories. Often we relive our own epic childhood adventures, and we seek to recreate those with our children. However, with all of the carefree fun in the sun, one of the things that usually gets forgotten is the importance of a sleep schedule. Summer Bedtime gets later and later, leaving the parents drained and the children in disarray.
Additionally, it can lead to obesity, a decline in their ability to focus, as well as other behavioral issues. Not to mention how stressful it can be as a parent to maintain your own regular schedule. The good news is there is hope. Here are four tips to help you create a winning summer bedtime strategy.
1. Be consistent.
Without the demands of a strict schedule, it is easy to slack off. This is especially true if one parent stays at home. As logical as it may seem to relax on bedtimes, it is not beneficial in the end. Your child has already developed a bedtime habit throughout the school year, and it would be best to maintain that all year round.
But if you must change it, the alternative is to create a new schedule that works for you. By doing so, you are still able to keep things consistent, and the transition into the school year schedule will be smoother.
Related: Summer Sleep Tips for Babies and Kids
2. Watch what they eat.
Who doesn’t love ice cream and popsicles in the summer? They are one of the best and tastiest ways to cool down. Having these treats isn’t a bad idea unless it is close to bedtime. If you notice that it’s within an hour or two before bed, limit your child’s sugar intake. If possible, eliminate it all together after a certain time. Having sugar or caffeine (if they drink tea) too close to bedtime can wreak havoc on their ability to rest. If you miss the cut off time, implement it as soon as possible and allow them to burn it off with a little more playtime.
3. Create a wind-down routine.
With all the excitement that summer brings, children can find it hard to unwind. Most parents think that a little TV time will help, but on the contrary, it stimulates your child’s mind even more. So what can you do to help them relax?
- Turn off the TV one hour before bedtime. This will allow your child to calm down and get into bedtime mode.
- Read a book with them. There’s something about books that just puts us all to sleep. Find something soothing, and sleep will quickly follow.
- Create a sleep-friendly environment. If your child’s bedtime falls just before night sets in, invest in “blackout shades” or curtains to make the room conducive for sleep.
4. Teach bedtime appreciation.
Children are always learning, no matter the time or the place. As a parent, you can educate your child on the importance of sleep. Teach them that resting is good for their health, and by getting the proper rest, they can have the energy to play. By helping your child to appreciate their bedtime, you can create a better experience for you and them.
It can be a challenge to maintain a regular summer bedtime schedule, but it is not impossible. With patience and tools for help, you can win the fight with sleep and still be the coolest parent in the world.
Related: Top 10 Beach Essentials for Baby You’ll Need This Summer