Now that it’s officially Summer (Yaaaay), the days are longer, there are a ton of activities, picnics, and barbecues so it’s easy to slip into bad habits around bedtime. But, I think it’s important to help your children maintain a good bedtime routine to help keep them healthy, make the most of their summer and make that transition back to school a little bit easier.
Kids actually need a lot of sleep. I mean who wants an overtired child? They’re not only tired, but they get all cranky, on edge and their immune systems get weaker…And I’m not about sick, edgy kids if I can help it. So getting your kids the right amount of sleep can actually help prevent some of this.
Aaannnyway …. let’s start talking about what you really want to know. A bedtime routine. You maybe be wondering what some good ideas are. I can remember when Aria was a baby I looked everywhere for bedtime routine ideas so I could start establishing good habits early. Well I didn’t find much. Soooo, here is a look at the routine I came up with and have done with our girls since they were babies and have been successful so far at getting them to bed around the same time every night…with hardly any objection
- After dinner the girls either take a bath or we do a quick wipe down: cleaning hands, feet, face and bottoms.
- A small bedtime snack, dessert, or bottle if still in the infant stage
- 10 minutes of reading, calm music, a show or Aria likes to watch kids songs/nursery rhythms on YouTube
- Brush and floss teeth, face care routine (yes I bought a few things for sensitive skin so Aria can do her face care when I do) then going to the bathroom
- Tuck in time
I don’t know about you, but I’ve experimented a bit with bed times to see if it makes a difference in their sleep. I have found no matter what time they go to bed, they wake up at the same time. So sticking to the routine helps optimize their chances of getting 10-12 hours of sleep.
A few other tips/tricks for helping kids wind down and associating nighttime with sleep
- Find a scent they can associate. With all of the essential oils and scents for sleep out there I say pick your favorite. We use the Johnson & Johnson Bedtime body wash and lotion (see my post here). I still use it to this day, even if it’s just a small amount on their neck/chest/arms because they have grown to associate the smell with nighttime and sleep.
- Set up a tranquil environment. We have utilized a sound machine since Aria was two weeks old and Amelia since she first came home from the hospital. The minute we walk into their room for bed, it gets turned on. I know Amelia sometimes has a harder time winding down than Aria, but as soon as we go into her room, give her her blankie and turn on the sound machine her head immediately lays on down and she starts trying to fall asleep.
- Allow for an item of comfort. Both of my girls love their blankies, but this could easily be a stuffed animal, doll or lovie. Again it’s one more item that helps associate bedtime and going to sleep.
- Get the right bedding and mattress. Kids get hot while sleeping. The type of bedding used can affect the body’s temperature; linen is one of the best to use for summer. There are also a variety of pillows and mattresses that can affect their little bodies. Mattress Firm is actually a great place to check out for a variety of these and you’ll be able to try them out. In fact, I just got a new memory foam pillow from there. Thanks to the friendly staff for helping me choose the right one because I haven’t slept better and not waking up with as many headaches and sore neck/shoulders.
- Always stick to the routine. I know this sounds hard to do because you may be traveling or up late with guests over. But trust me, when it’s getting late and they’re having that overtired fit about not wanting to go bed, you’ll find they get into it and settle down quickly because it’s what they’re used to. One thing we do if it’s getting late is just shorten the routine by cutting the wind down time (songs/books/shows) in half, and it still works!
Check out your local Mattress Firm to test out and find the right products for you and your family. I’ve attached a coupon at the bottom of the post + there’s a HUGE 4th of July sale going on right now!! So be sure to check it out and update everyone’s mattress, pillows and bedding.
Thanks for stopping by and I hope you have a great week!