Back-to-School Bedtime Tips

As we get ready to return to school in the next few weeks, it’s time to help your child adjust to new routines. Summertime brings sleeping in and staying up later. Now we want to begin the transition back to our school-year rituals. For some families it will be the first time they’ll need to get ready for a back-to-school schedule, so here are some tips we hope will help make this a little easier!

  1. Begin to make some gradual changes in your schedule based on your child’s needs. These may include moving dinner time, bath time and/or bedtime five to ten minutes earlier every three to four days over the next two weeks. The amount of time may depend on how “off-schedule” your time frames have become over the summer.
  2. Prepare your child for these changes by helping them pick “special” ways to get ready for back-to-school. These can include inexpensive ideas such as:
    • Going to the library to pick new books to read for bedtime stories
    • Using a new scent of bubble bath for an earlier bath time
    • Getting a new flavor of toothpaste to use for an earlier wake-up time
    • Picking a healthy bedtime snack to celebrate a new school year bedtime
  3. Begin to quiet your house down about an hour before bedtime. Start to reduce the amount of noise by playing kid-friendly music (lots of choices available at the library!) or turning down the volume on the television. You may also want to reduce the amount of light by closing shades or turning off unnecessary lights. Our own voices should begin to lower, and it’s a good time for low-energy activities such as drawing, coloring, reading, puzzles, cars, dolls, etc.

If you need additional ideas, please call Barbara, our Early Childhood Mental Health Consultant, at 330-736-0071. She is always available to share information on helping parents understand their young children’s needs!