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I learned this quote when I was in 8th grade and it have stuck with me since. Back to school can b a very stressful time, and given the current pandemic, it is probably feeling pretty daunting. Balancing the possibility of homeschooling, your own job, and having fun is something we, as parents, are trying to balance. Those carefree days of the summer are coming to an end, so how do we set a routine that allows for restorative sleep?

Reset Your Child’s Bedtime

The first thing you want to do is to reset bedtime. Your child is going to need a consistent bedtime routine to stick to. If that tablet has found its way into their bedtime routine, that should be the first thing to go. Blue light that emits from the screens on tablets and other devices is a stimulant, so they should be locked away for 60 minutes before bedtime.

Kick off the Routine to Sleep so it is Fun

Next, try to find a kick-off to your routine. For many families, this means taking a bath or washing their face. That signal will start getting their mind ready for sleep once it is integrated into their routine. Once you have your routine in place, stick to it! It helps them adjust to going to bed every night so they can be awake and ready for school the next morning.

Check the Clock

What time they go to sleep is also very important. During the summer they might have been staying up a bit later, especially with the sun staying out later as well. However, once school approaches, you will want to make sure they are in bed at around 8pm if they are 6-10 years old. Then they can sleep until at least 6-7am and feel ready to start the day. This is all about resetting timing and setting expectations, so if they’re resistant at first just keep at it until they’re aware of the routine. Refer to this total sleep needs by age chart too! 

Create a Consistent Routine in the Morning

In the morning, there is a whole other routine that should take place. I’m sure you know how hectic mornings can be before school trying to get your little one ready and out the door. The main thing you want to do is just set a routine so nobody feels overwhelmed in the morning. Have teeth brushed, breakfast made, backpacks are, well, packed, and set those expectations for what a morning looks like as well.

Proper Prior Planning Prevents a Pitifully Poor Poor Performance

I learned this quote when I was in 8th grade and it have stuck with me since. Kids are going to respond well to structure, routine and consistency. Even if every bedtime and morning routine isn’t perfect, sticking to the plan you have made is going to make the move from summer into school much more manageable for you and your little one. It can help kids understand expectations and help as you move through bedtime and the morning routine in time to catch the bus. 

Courtney Zentz is an Award-Winning Author, Baby Sleep Expert and Founder of Tiny Transitions. Her background as a Pediatric Sleep Specialist, Lactation Counselor, Postpartum Doula and Sleep Coach to her team of Sleep Consultants around the world provides parents with a solution to their sleep struggles, that is backed by science and balanced with your love and support.

Named by Tuck as a Top 200 Sleep Professional in the United States, Courtney is a 4x “Best of Philadelphia” Sleep Consultant. She writes & contributes to Fatherly, Yahoo, Thrive Global, Medium, Nectar, Romper, Parentology, The Sleep Sense Show, and Bustle among others in the field of Pediatric Sleep. Courtney hosts The Kids Sleep Show podcast, and is a frequent guest with companies like Slumber Pod® and The Magic Sleep Suit® Company. 

Courtney resides just outside Philadelphia, with her husband Adam and two children, Max and Sovella. She has always felt passionate about making sleep & healthy living a priority in her family’s life and Tiny Transitions would welcome working with you. Setup a Free Preliminary Sleep Evaluation with Courtney or a member of her Slumber Squad®