Summer is in full swing right now. For some of us, that might also mean a serious shift in sleep schedules due to travel and other activities. If you are like me, you are probably taking advantage of the warm weather and long days to squeeze as much out of summer as you can. Unless you are actively trying to prevent it, you have probably noticed that your child is staying up a little later than usual.
What can you do to minimize impacts to your child’s sleep if you have noticed a shift to a later bedtime?
Watch the Munchies
Summer treats are great, but not at night when it’s close to bedtime. Make sure to manage your child’s expectations on what they can have, when and how much they are allowed in advance. Placing a cap on quantities and making nutritious, easy to digest foods more readily available can help to avoid overly full and upset tummies that could interfere with sleep initiation.
Include Additional Quiet Time
Plan for some additional downtime if you know that your child will be up a little later than usual. I’ve rounded up my favourite outdoor quiet time activities to give you some fresh ideas. If electronic usage is part of the equation, just be sure to avoid screen time at least one hour before bedtime.
Room Conditions for Sleep
Even if your child stays up later, it doesn’t usually translate into sleeping into them sleeping in the next morning. You can try to create conditions that may encourage a later wake up time though. Make sure window coverings can block out early morning light and that you incorporate a sound machine or fan that can block out noise such as a street traffic, birds or other family members. You can view my latest video on how to instantly darken a bedroom here:
Modify the Bedtime Routine
Consider modifying your child’s bedtime routine, but don’t skip it (unless your child has actually fallen asleep). Options include shortening elements, removing elements, or breaking the routine up. For example, if your evening plans call for a campfire, then consider having bath time and getting your child into their pajamas before heading outside.
What modifications have you made to your child’s summer sleep schedule?