When it comes to children, routine is best. However, there are several times where our diligent routine goes out the window. Whether summer break has pushed bedtime back, or a long winter break has them sleeping in, getting back on track is key. Not just for kids, but adults too. By everyone having a regular routine and sleep schedule the whole family is ensured proper rest. As well as more than sufficient time to get everything done in the mornings too. But just how do we get our kids back on a sleep schedule?
Even if you have been guilty to relaxing your families schedule we have several easy tips to get back on track. Below we will go through how you can quickly and easily re-implement a solid routine. As well as that very important sleep schedule to create an easy flow for everyone.
Enjoy A Break
As a mother I understand how important taking a break from routine can be. Allowing your kids to just be kids is so important, especially in this day and age. When summer comes around we all get nostalgic and long for long lazy days. Allowing for a night time routine and set bedtime to sometimes go out the window. As well as turning alarm clocks off in the morning and allowing sleeping in to become more of a daily occurrence. Rather than an every once in awhile sort of thing.
We all need a break, but getting back on schedule after that much needed break might have us a little stressed. So just how should we go about getting everyone back into a good sleep schedule? We’ll make it as easy as possible, on everyone, just follow these rules and you should all be back on track in a few days.
Get Back On Track
Getting off schedule seems to take no time at all, but getting back on schedule is usually a bit trickier. When it comes to sleep you want to make sure your kids are getting all they need. It makes for happy, healthier and better functioning little ones. This will only benefit them and make sure that they are able to get through each day with the best results.
Below are merely a few simple steps to getting your kids back on a sleep schedule. These steps may be more or less involved depending on what works best for you and your little ones. However, the basic actions will be the same for everyone wanting to get back to a good routine.
Tip 1 – Don’t Wait
Whenever the first day of school is coming around the corner, you need to get back on schedule as soon as you can. It is much better to try to do so before you absolutely have to.
Try getting back on a set schedule at least a week or two before school starts. This way you can ease back into it opposed to jumping right in. Depending on how long you’ve been off your routine may shorten and lengthen how long it will take to get back on track.
For example, if you go on vacation for a week and have a lax schedule for six or seven nights it may only take one night before getting back on track. However, if it’s been three months of summer break giving yourself more time to readjust is best. By giving everyone a good week to get back into routine will make the transition smoother. Think of it as a dress rehearsal. Giving everyone time to practice and reintroduce a solid schedule will make the “live performance” much easier.
Tip 2 – Reactivate A Bedtime Routine
Reintroducing a bedtime routine is the perfect start to getting off on the right foot. When you bypass a regular structure of activities or events your internal clock is confused. By putting a good bedtime routine in place your body and mind will adjust accordingly. Understanding and executing what starts the natural rhythm of your child’s sleep schedule is key to a good bedtime routine.
Whether your child likes to wind down with a bath or shower first. Or if they need a snack and some quiet reading time. Knowing what works to put your child in a good state of relaxation should naturally help ease them back into a good bedtime routine.
Followed by lights out every night at the same time. Regardless of whether they are sleepy or not having this consistency will help create better long term patterns. Which in turn will result in a better sleep schedule. Make sure that consistency with time and actions is stuck to though. Wavering on the bedtime routine will only prolong getting back on a good schedule.
Tip 3 – Reactivate A Morning Routine
Similar to a bedtime routine a morning routine is important too. Starting with waking up at the same time every morning. Sometimes as a parent this can be more difficult for us than our kids. But making sure that everyone makes an effort to rise and shine makes a huge difference.
Knowing how much time is needed to fit everything into your morning routine is key. You don’t want to feel rushed or pass up something important, like breakfast. By everyone waking up and allotting for the time it takes to get ready, dressed and fed will keep stress low. As well as better prepare you for a successful day.
Though this might be the hardest part of the process we know that the initial excitement of starting school usually helps. However, if your little one has a tough time getting up in the morning we suggest looking at tip 5 to help.
Tip 4 – Plan Ahead
One of the best ways to ensure efficiency in the morning is to get organized by planning ahead. By simply doing a few things the night before your mornings will run much smoother. It also can give your kids something to look forward to when waking up the next day.
If you are able to choose outfits the night before you won’t have to worry about trying to sift through laundry to find something. As well as eliminate any time going back and forth on choosing an outfit.
Also, if you need to pack a lunch doing the majority of prep and planning the night before is very helpful. Even planning or prepping breakfast can take a lot of pressure out of the equation. And again spark some added motivation for your children getting up. Knowing they have their favorite cereal waiting for them might be that added boost they need.
This one might be the most important for us parents. By planning ahead we ultimately have less stress. Allowing us to get ready for the day as well instead of running around trying to help find socks and packing lunches. There is already enough going on in the mornings, so taking a few extra minutes the night before is more than worth it.
Tip 5 – Motivation
Okay, so getting your kids back on a sleep schedule sounds easier said than done. One thing I have noticed that helps with my little one getting excited about a new routine or schedule is some type of outside motivation. I don’t like to think of it as bribing as much as re-energizing.
I think all of us, even as adults can be re-energized with something that gives us that extra pep in our step. Whether it is a new toothbrush to use, or new books to read before bed. Maybe planning a special breakfast that will create a more eager riser. Even new shampoo or soap can encourage a jump start to a morning routine. Especially if it has an invigorating scent like this orange burst shampoo or watermelon soap.
One of the best things about a new school year is all the newness to everything. So why not implement this into their sleep schedule. Even at two and half, my daughter loves talking about what we will be doing the next morning and it gives her an added excitement about what’s to come.
Even talking about what they are doing tomorrow in school and working up an excitement for that can be very helpful. So even if it isn’t with a physical object, finding motivation in what’s to come can be very powerful. It’s kind of like Christmas morning, on a much smaller scale. Having the motivation of Santa visiting usually gets kids unusually interested in sleeping early and rising early.
Just Do It!
These five simple tips to getting your kids back on a sleep schedule might sound easy. But executing them, especially prior to a new school year or returning from a break, is really the key in making your life, and theirs, easier. Some of these you may have already used and some may be new, but finding what works best for you and your kiddos is what is best to focus on.
If you happen to have any tips for getting your kids back on a sleep schedule we would love to hear from you! Please send us a message with your suggestions and we would love to add them. Also, if you are looking for more tips for getting on a sleep schedule check out our page, How to Fix Your Sleep Schedule.