With the kids back at school after a long summer, one of the hardest things a parent has to face is bedtime. Your kids will be used to later nights and chilled out days, so the last thing they’ll want to do is go to sleep.
At Bed Guru, we’ve put together a guide with our top tips for getting your kids to sleep now school’s back.
Ensure they get the right amount of sleep
How much sleep a child generally depends on their age. You need to understand your child’s sleeping habits and how much time they need to spend in bed each day. Having this knowledge will help you to set out their bedtime routine.
Here’s a general guideline on how long a child should sleep depending on their age:
0 to 4 months old - 16-17 hours a day
4 months to 1 year - 14-15 hours a day
1 to 3 years - 12-14 hours a day
3 to 6 years - 11-12 hours a day
7 to 12 years - 10-12 hours a day
13 to 18 years - 8-10 hours a day
This is just a general guideline and each child is different. Some may need more sleep than others and vice versa, so it’s important to assess how much sleep your child gets on average and work their bedtime pattern around it.
Set out a routine
Having a nighttime routine in place means your child is always aware of what they need to do before bed and can take the stress away for both you and them. Routines can consist of a number of things, including the following:
A bath or shower
Putting on their pyjamas
A light snack
A bedtime story
Setting this routine in place can be catered to the needs of each child. The parts of the routine aren’t the most important part, it’s setting the tone and keeping consistency throughout.
Create an appealing sleep environment
If you can create an environment that they want to sleep in then you’ll find getting them to bed far easier. One way is getting them a cool bed that makes them want to spend time there. There are loads of cool kids beds available, like our Children’s House Bed and the Children’s Teepee Bed.
This can also involve the type of lighting you have set throughout their room. Bright ceiling lights are unlikely to be beneficial, on the other hand, dim lamps or a night light create the perfect sleep environment.
Keep their room’s cool
A child’s sleep cycle is not just dependent on light, it is also affected by the temperature of their room. Don’t cover your child in too many sheets, particularly during the summer months. Cooler temperatures promote deeper sleep cycles and this means they’re more likely to last the night, in turn, giving you a better night’s sleep.
Set a time to turn off electronics
Electronic devices can be incredibly distracting at the best of times for adults, but for kids, they could be your worst nightmare. The content on electronic devices tricks your brain into staying active and makes it think it needs to stay awake.
Set a time to turn them off and give them plenty of warning so it doesn’t get to 9pm and you’re snatching their uncompleted game away from them. If you give them plenty of warning, it gives them time to finish whatever they’re doing and will avoid arguments. It’s probably best to keep them out their room completely as there’s not much you can do when the door closes and you’re out of the room.
Treat them to a healthy bedtime snack as a reward
A healthy bedtime snack helps their bodies to stay fueled during the night but not enough to keep them awake and restless. You need to avoid sugary snacks like chocolate, sugary biscuits and sweets, instead, go for fruit, healthy biscuits, crackers or a drink like milk.
As well as giving them the fuel they need, it also gives them a small reward for getting into bed on time and sticking to their routine. This is likely to make them follow the same routine again, with the knowledge there’s a reward at the end of it.
Get them a toy to keep them company
Kids more often than not will have a personal object they’re attached too that give them a sense of security when you leave their room at night. Something like a cuddly toy, a blanket or a doll provide them this security and something to cuddle up to at night. This should make them less reliant on you once you’ve left their room.
We have a great range of kids beds here at Bed Guru. If you’re needing help find a bed for your kids or have any other enquiries then feel free to get in touch and one of our team will be more than happy to help you.