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Podcast Episode Transcripts:
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Welcome to the kids sleep show, where we help tired parents from around the world to get their children to fall asleep independently, sleep through the night and build healthy sleep habits for life. I’m your host, Courtney Zentz. Now let’s sleep together. Hello, everyone, Courtney Zentz here, founder of tiny transitions. And this week, I’m going to talk to you all about back to school, what it means how we’re handling it as parents during this crazy time, and how we can make sure that sleep gets reset to ensure you and your little ones are getting the right amount of rest at the right times. So back to school is traditionally a pretty stressful time of year, you’re going to transition from the fun and carefree days of the summer to regimen and routine that happens for the next 180 days. So what I aim to do in this particular session is going to be talked to you all about where you are and where you’ll want to be by the end of your time in viewing this particular series. The first thing that we’re going to talk a little bit about is the chaos that’s happening around the world today. We’re in the middle of a pandemic. I know here in the States, and particularly in Philadelphia, our back to school is going back as a hybrid. Children are going back for one or two days a week. They are homeschooled for three days a week. And we are all still trying to work and balance that especially here in our house as we both work full time. So the chaos and craziness that is ensuing with that really just hammers home. How important sleep is for you and your family. It’s the foundation to which you feel well. It’s the foundation to which keeps you well from an immunity standpoint. And it’s the foundation for which your children are learning, we want to make sure that all of the information they’re taking in whether it’s virtual, or an in class setting is going to be something that they retain from a knowledge and growth standpoint. And the first way I can ensure that you’re going to want to work on new sleep skills, and mastering that sleep to get it back on track it start with resetting bedtime, the routine has to be something that’s going to be consistent for the next foreseeable future while they are in school, here we go to school 180 days a year. So you want that new routine to reflect what’s going to happen on most nights. Now I understand there may still be situations where there’s extra curricular activities, there may even be some different sports that are happening. And so we want to make sure that where we can,
we are resetting a routine that frankly is conducive to a child sleeping. If those tablets have made their way back into your life, get them out of the bedtime routine. It’s very important from a tablet standpoint, especially in a technology heavy world to use those tablets in a variety of different ways. Reading bedtime books, watching a story, things like that, that can seem absolutely so innocent on a piece of technology is actually one of the worst things that your child can do, because it stimulates the brain. So blue light that is traditionally omitted from things like devices and screens really amps up a specific spot in the brain. That makes it really hard for your children to resettle, especially at bedtime, which is why I ensure all of my private clients, they do not touch a device 60 minutes before bedtime, it’s very important to give the brain time to calm down. And to know that rest is heading their way. The next thing that’s important in that routine is going to be something like a bath or a kickoff to the fact sleep is coming. So if my children do not take a bath, every other day, every other night bathers, I actually have them wash their face with a warm washcloth. Not only does it clean the grime off from the day, but it’s also a signal that the routine is happening. they wash their face, they brush their teeth, they put their pajamas on we read a book, and then it’s in bed to do our meditation with our Zoo animal. And then my kids go to sleep. And that’s it every single night, we’ve done the same thing for six years, with the exception of maybe five times in their life. I’m very strict with routine even in the summer, because I think it’s important that kids get rest, especially seeing what I do in this particular field. So take a look, talk with your spouse, figure out the schedules of this crazy time and make sure that you’re resetting a routine. That makes sense. And it’s something you can stick to every single night. It doesn’t need to be more than 30 minutes, but make sure that you’re sticking to that and that your little one comes to know and expect what’s going to happen during the routine. The next is going to be to reset your bedtime. So I know that in the summer months, especially because the sun is up a little later and later. It is very easy for your little ones to stay up much later. The problem is as you’ve noticed, they get up at the same time in the morning. So you’re really shortchanging them. that little bit of extra sleep They need, especially if they’re not napping. So it’s important that you reset the bedtime routine. And what I find to be age appropriate for children from frankly, about six through 10 years of age is an eight o’clock bedtime, I think it’s more than appropriate. They sleep until at least six or seven in the morning. And they wake up feeling refreshed and ready to start the day. So it may take a little bit of talking to because the sun is still going to be up when they go to bed. But making sure that you reset that timing and reset the expectations to avoid some of the challenges that things like overtired can cause like night terrors, the next thing that you want to do is refresh the morning routine. And I actually recommend that you start all of this a few days before the first day of school. So maybe the weekend going into the kickoff of school starting have one last enjoyable weekend. And then boom, the weekend before school, it’s going to be business as usual, you want to get their little bodies used to the new routine. In the mornings, you also want to reset and refresh what the expectations are going to be around the process. Right. I know today, my kids get up in the morning, they casually have some breakfast, they watch a little TV, you know, they’re kids, and they’re living their best life. The problem is they got to get out the door. Whether you’re doing a full hybrid program where your kids are in school and out of school, maybe they’re going to be home for the entire year with you. Maybe they’re going to school five days a week, whatever your situation, you need to make sure that you help them understand what the new expectations are around the morning and the morning routine. Because often when back to school kicks in, you’re in a time crunch. And you need to make sure lunches are packed, kids are dressed teeth are brushed. Masks are attached to book bags, all of those things
so that your little one can be ready. And it’s not a scramble on that first day of school. So stick with me here. So the first is going to be refreshed the bedtime routine, the second is going to be reset the bed time. And the third is going to be rebuilding that morning structure to make sure that your little one knows exactly what to expect. And that school is now here, the balance of back to school, especially in the middle of a pandemic is going to be a little bit chaotic for a lot of kids. And frankly, for a lot of families. In my own household here we’re trying to figure out how we’re going to make it all work. And I certainly appreciate and understand the stress that comes along with this time. Which is why I think it’s also important to be very mindful that what you’re portraying out in the world is what your kids are picking up on. If you need a reset if they need a reset, one of our favorite products to do that reset is something called Zoo animal. And it is a product that allows for mindfulness and meditation. It’s designed for kids, but I’ll tell you, I love it as an adult. There are about 10 minute meditations on this device free turtle that comes to bed with my kids every single night. And it is the most amazing thing, because we all do it together as a family now during the routine, and it brings some calm and some closure and gratitude to our day. So I do encourage you to check that out. To learn more about the private coaching if sleep is going wrong in your house, we are here to always talk about that. I love working with families to help your children sleep, whether they’re a newborn and infant, a fifth grader, you name it, I can help you all get there and build that family life and family dynamic that you’re looking for. Thanks so much for watching. Until next time, Sweet dreams. Hold on one more thing before you go. As a valued listener of the kids sleep show. I want to help you build a great sleeper not just in the times you’re listening to the show. But all day every day. Every week of the year. I have a new Facebook group called slumber Made Simple. It’s a place together with other parents looking for sleep support, laughs and the latest in sleep research to build a family that is rested and at their best day in and day out. If you want to be part of the community where you can get free sleep support, weekly training sessions, unbelievable fun tips and so much more. Head on over to tiny transitions.com forward slash community. That’s tiny transition stuff comm forward slash community or head over to Facebook and search slumber Made Simple. drop me a note and let me know when you join. I can’t wait to see you there.