How happy am I that you are finally here!
After a long winter/spring due to the state of the world, I'm so happy to feel the sun on my face!
Summer brings outdoor BBQs, friends and family gatherings, water play, dirty toes, and constant application of sunscreen.
Summer also brings more daylight, bright morning sun, and late sunsets.
With looser schedules and more daylight, sometimes our little ones' sleep habits get overlooked, and things can start to creep in...
Then I get the phone call in the fall that starts with "I don't know how we got here..."
Well, I do:)
Here are some quick summer sleep tips that will keep everyone happy and well-rested!
1) Keep that bedtime early!
"Yes, I know the sun is still out, and it doesn't look like bedtime, but you still need to sleep so you can be in a good mood tomorrow" This is a common phrase I say to my 4-year-old.
Even though there is still plenty of daylight, your child still needs 11-12 hours of nighttime sleep (until they are teenagers...) If you cut your child's sleep short 1 hour every night, at the end of the week, that is 7 hours of sleep they are missing.
In a month, that is 210 hours...
By the end of the summer (which is only 2-months where I live), that's 420 hours of missed sleep.
So no wonder by the end of the season, things are just not right.
2) Block out that light!
Pro-tip: Heavy-duty garbage bags.
Cheap, easy, and it does the trick.
The key is to get the heavy-duty ones as they are considerably thicker than the regular kitchen bags. Use some masking tape and cover up those windows! It's easier to convince your child that it's time to sleep when it feels like nighttime in their room.
You can also use cardboard or various items in your recycle bin. It may not be pretty, but it's effective!
3) Get wet!
Outdoor playtime, especially water play, is extremely effective in tiring out little people!
Pool, splash park, sprinkler in the backyard, anything works!
4) Set time aside for downtime!
Let's say you have a couple of friends over, and everyone is having a blast in the backyard. You see the time, and you need to get your little one ready for bed, and not everyone is leaving right away.
Take an extra 10-15 minutes alone with your child away from everyone to allow them some time to calm down. Children have what we call FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out), and if they don't have some time to wind down between playtime and bedtime, you'll see a lot more protest when it comes to sleep.
5) Plan out your days!
Let's say you have a busy weekend coming up, and you know that you won't be able to get your kiddos to bed on time. That's not the end of the world!
But, what's important is to allow for some days to recover. Days to have naps at home, to keep to their bedtimes, and allow for their normal routine to take place.
Overscheduling activities can lead to some pretty overtired kiddos, and just like we enjoy some quieter days, they enjoy having them too.
There you have it! Some quick tips that you can implement right away to enjoy all the goodness that summer has to offer!