Summer time means the days are longer and sunnier, school is out and vacations are in! No matter what age your child is, following these simple tips can help you enjoy your summer with your little one and create some wonderful memories!
Keep Bedtime The Same
Keeping a consistent bedtime and wake time for your child will help them feel their best. This helps their little bodies get into a predicable sleep rhythm which makes it easier for them to fall asleep and wake up in the morning. This in turn makes for enjoyable days with your well rested little one.
Protect Nap Time And Rest Time
Everyone needs a little break, parents included. Children younger than 3 will still need to be taking a restful nap. Older children can benefit from a quiet rest time to refresh and rejuvenate as well.
While many times we might be vacationing, it can be helpful to protect the nap and rest time to help keep night sleep routines in place. It can also help minimize the later afternoon/dinner time “witching hour. “
Get Outside And Enjoy The Sun And Fresh Air
During wakeful time, get outside and enjoy the fresh air and sunshine. Be active and do some water play, go to parks, enjoy the pools and splash pads.
Be sure to use sunscreen, sunglasses, and protective clothing to protect your little ones. During these activities, be sure to stay hydrated as warmer weather and water play can cause dehydration.
If you notice your little one’s face begin to get red, help guide them for a little break to cool down and rest their body.
And while it’s important to be moving and playing, use caution not to overdo it with too many activities.
Take note of your child’s behavior and note that they actually can get a little more tired and irritable in warmer weather. Be sure to protect their limits and the activities your children can handle.
Remove The Sunlight Before Sleep Times.
Allow your child’s body to feel regulated by getting out of the sun at least 30-60 minutes before a sleep. Winding down with some calm, cool, quiet play activities can help your child relax and make it easier for them to transition and go to sleep.
Create A Sleep Friendly Environment
Cool down the room. A comfortable temperature for sleep is somewhere between 68-72 degrees. Use a fan to help cool it down and keep the air circulating.
Keep the room nice and dark by using darkening shades or putting a blanket up over any light sources since bedtime for most children is somewhere between 6-8pm and the sun is still shining.
Consider using a sound machine to muffle out the extra sounds. Most people are out and about later and the sound machine will help your child tune it out.
Irene Gouge is wife and mom of two in Holly Springs, North Carolina. She supports tired parents with gentle sleep and parent solutions focused on love and respect. As a trained and certified Gentle Sleep Coach she helps families get back those sleep filled nights to have healthy children, happy parents, and harmonious homes. She’s the creator of Loving Lessons, GetSleep.TV, Parent CIRCLE Network, and The Pediatric Health and Wellness Community. Find more sleep and parent tips on Facebook or Twitter.