As more and more parents head back to work outside of the house, and kids spend more time back in school and daycare, I have seen a significant increase in families who are desperate to get their children’s sleep on track. Families are finding this new transition to be difficult in ensuring that everyone is getting a restful night’s sleep.
The biggest piece of work that I do with these families is helping them set-up healthy bedtime routines. I have partnered with Mommy’s Bliss, one of the most trusted vitamin and supplement brands among parents, because their sleep products for kids ages 3 and older, in conjunction with a steady sleep routine, can help your family get back on track. Here are some tips you can start using right now for maintaining a healthy sleep environment for your family.
1. Start Shifting Your Schedule
Just like families try to so with Daylight Savings, try to shift your child’s schedule back day-by-day. Start waking your child about 15 minutes earlier every day or two. Also, put your child to bed 15 minutes earlier. By the end of the week your child should be waking at your desired time and bedtime should be back to where it should be. (P.S. also shift mealtimes and nap time back if they’ve crept later).
2. Remove Electronics Before Bed
We hate to admit it, but electronics have been the key to successful parenting over the past few months. Whether it’s the daily Zoom classes for school or some extra screen time just so you can finish up a work call, many parents are relying on tablets and TVs for their child’s engagement. But, blue light from electronics can delay the production of melatonin. So, if your child is struggling to fall asleep at night, consider removing screens about an hour before bedtime. Studies have found that the melatonin production starts to increase fairly quickly once the blue light is removed.
3. Get Back to Basics
Remember when your child was a baby and everything you read told you to establish a nightly “routine”. Well, the same holds true for older children. Create a bedtime routine that is predictable and consistent. You may have had a routine prior to the stay-at-home-order, or perhaps you didn’t but, a nightly routine not only helps a child winddown prior to bedtime, but it also removes some of the stress on the parent. Start with a bath or shower, followed by the brushing teeth and pajamas, then onto books and cuddles, and lastly getting into bed.
4. Set Realistic Boundaries
Since some families have really deviated from their normal schedules, it may be hard to get back on track. Start talking to your child about what’s expected of them in terms of sleep. For your preschooler this may mean reading them a book about staying in bed or purchasing an “Ok to Wake” clock. For an older child this may mean telling them to get in bed at a given time but allowing them to read a few books on their own before calling “lights out.”
5. Get Outside Help
Sometimes, even with the best planning and routine, children still have trouble adapting to the old schedule. If you’ve tried all the tricks above and your child is still struggling to fall asleep at night, talk to your doctor about supplementing with melatonin for a few days. Although it is not a long-term solution, Mommy’s Bliss Kids Sleep Line are safe melatonin products for your child as each version is crafted with a wise blend of ingredients, including melatonin, magnesium, organic chamomile, lemon balm, and passionflower. They’re designed to work hand-in-hand with a good bedtime routine to help support restful sleep.
As moms we know that just like sickness, travel, and time changes, new routines can also disrupt even the best sleepers. Getting your child’s sleep back on track will certainly help alleviate parental stress and make your child happier overall.
For more bedtime bliss resources, visit mommysbliss.com.