Today we will talk about how to get kids to bed earlier.
Sleep. We all want it, but sometimes it can be hard to achieve that elusive night of good sleep.Kids can be even more susceptible to losing out on sleep, due to late bedtimes and early school days.And how much sleep do they need anyway?
According to this chart from the National Sleep Foundation, my three & five-year-olds should be getting between 10 to 13 hours of sleep each night and my one-year-old should be getting between 11 to 14 hours of sleep each night.
I’m pretty sure we hit those targets each night, mainly because I have enforced a strict early bedtime since they were infants…both because I know how important sleep is to physical and mental health AND because I like to have kid-free time to relax from 7:00 to 10:00 before I go to bed.
So how do you get kids to go to bed earlier? Here are some tips I’ve picked up along the way…
6 Tips to Get Kids to Bed Earlier
Stick to a schedule.
A schedule that’s the same each day will help your body set its internal clock to have the same bedtime each night. A nightly routine will help with this. Ours is dinner, bath, TV show and snack, bathroom, books, and bed.
Get lots of physical activity in the afternoon.
Sitting around watching TV all afternoon isn’t going to make your kid tired. Running around outside in the fresh air will. Bad weather? Make an obstacle course in your house or do a kids’ yoga video on YouTube.
Make sure you start your nighttime routine early enough to account for bathtime taking longer or a longer-than-usual bedtime story that is requested.
Make bathtime fun
For some parents, getting kids up into the bath is one of the hardest parts of the nightly routine. A tough bathtime can set the tone, though, so you want it to be fun. One surefire way that I get my kids into the bath with no complaints is by saying, “We can use Crazy Foam tonight!
” They go gaga for Crazy Foam, which looks like just fun foam but it does triple duty as a shampoo, conditioner, and body wash. We started out with the Superhero Collection of Crazy Foams but now they have a ton more, like the new Fairy Tale Collection. They make a great gift or a good stocking stuffer (psst there’s a new Holiday Collection, too!).
Limit sugary snacks.
Nothing can derail a good bedtime like a sugary snack after dinner. Maybe it’s not always avoidable, but I try to have the kids choose a salty snack before bed, if they get one at all.
Keep the rules and routine the same. If you decide on three stories before bed, then keep it three stories every night so your child knows to expect three books and then lights out.
Bonus tip: If you’re concerned that it’s still light out when you’re putting your kids to bed, get blackout shades for the room. They work wonders.
One final piece of advice…if you’re trying to figure out what the best bedtime for your child’s age is, check the chart to see how much sleep he needs.
Then go backwards from what time he wakes up in the morning, and add an extra half hour of sleep time to account for the time it takes him to fall asleep. That should give you his optimal bedtime.
Source & Credits: thenaughtymommy.com