A Guide To Summer Sleep.
How do you keep your kid’s summer sleep at bay while still making the most of those short summer months?
A week or two into the winter I begin counting down the weeks until the summer. I cant help it I’m a sun and heat lover! I live for the warmth on my skin, the longer days, the dinners in the garden, the beach, the pool and all the intoxicating colours of summer. I could go on but this blog isn’t about my love for all things warm and sunny. It’s about the more challenging aspects of summer when you live your life with mini people who have more energy than the energizer bunny.
The gloriously long days can result in sunny bedrooms, procrastinating toddlers and negotiating preschoolers. “Mom, how can it be bedtime? Its still daytime!!”
This is the moment I curse myself for teaching the children that its bedtime because its dark outside! What was I thinking? Did I not have enough forethought to look ahead to the summer?
Enjoy the summer and still keep your kid’s summer sleep on track by reading my Super Duper, Summer Sleep Tips.
Super Duper Summer Sleep Tips
- If its not too late don’t tell your kids all winter that its night night time because its dark outside. This just sets you up to look like a liar all summer. Never a good way to start off bikini season.
- Black out your child’s bedroom. This is important for multiple reasons:
- When it’s dark it looks like night time. If your child’s still young this solves the whole “its not night time yet” issue, see point 1
- Alert children need help winding their busy bodies down in order to help them prepare for sleep. This is much easier in a dark, quiet room.
- We produce melatonin in the dark. Melatonin helps us sleep. It’s a scientific no brainer!
- Don’t skip the bedtime routine. Children are creatures of habit and many babies and toddlers feel comfortable, secure and reassured when we follow the same steps even when we are away on vacation.
- Focus on keeping your child’s room as cool as possible over night. We all sleep better in a cooler room. Keep the blinds drawn during the day and run a fan pointing away from your child’s face over night. While this doesn’t cool the air it will keep it moving. Don’t rush to take that sleep sack off to quickly either. Once you let your child sleep without it for a few nights it can be hard to get it back on them when the cooler nights return. See point 3 about routine! Instead take the layers off your child and use a summer weight bag. Sleep sacks help contain out early crib climbers too so keep that sack on!
- Be prepared when you travel! Take a roll of garbage bags to black out the room, don’t forget their lovey and always pack a night-light just in case. Be prepared to offer your child additional support in a new environment but try to avoid relying on old habits like nursing to sleep especially if you have spent the last few months working to avoid them. Go ahead, comfort and sooth your child but looks for a way to support them without it leading you back to where you started. Understand your child’s temperament. Some children adapt to change quite readily others take more time. PS don’t forget to have a good time with your family. This is your #1 priority!
- Set expectations! If your child is old enough talk to them about your expectations. If you are going to a late BBQ and they will be staying up past their bedtime let them know that this is a one off. If you will be co-sleeping temporarily while you are at the cottage remind them that once you are back home that you will return to your normal routine. When you get back home make sure you do. Mean what you say and say what you mean!
- Be prepared for the summer months to get a little off track and for your schedule to feel a little topsy turvy. Enjoy those extra hours with your family and friends and know that no matter what you can recover those great sleepers in the Fall!