Ah, those heady days of summer; idyllic days picnicking in the park, balmy evenings tucking into homemade burgers straight from the BBQ and weekends spent slathering everyone in sun cream as they dip their tiny toes in the paddling pool, pure bliss! Though, let’s be honest, this is Britain, so most of those activities probably took place under an umbrella!
Even so, the summer holidays are a wonderful time to spend with the family, and then, before you can say ‘toddler tantrum’, it’s over, September has arrived and school begins. And with the arrival of the autumn season comes the end of the laissez-faire attitude to bedtimes. No more late nights spent playing in the garden until dusk falls, the bedtime routine is back in force.
But how do you tackle re-introducing your bedtime schedule to your routine-averse children? Here are our top tips:
Whilst the sun was shining, you may have been tempted to forgot bath time for a more relaxed (and slightly chillier) paddling pool or hose rinse down. What better way to clean sun cream and ice lolly juice of your little one than turn it into a fun, garden game? However, reintroducing bath time will not only help signal to your child that bedtime is just around the corner, but the warm water and fragrant bubbles will relax them and prepare them for sleep time.
Don’t Leave It Too Late
Reintroducing the bedtime routine the day before school/nursery starts is a recipe for disaster. Give you and your child time to get back into the old schedule and earlier bedtime, preferably at least 4 days before term time starts.New Bed
If your child is completely averse to bedtime then perhaps getting them excited about their bed will have them bounding into it without so much of a whinge or whine! This could be as simple as buying them a new duvet set, or perhaps a whole new bed. Storage beds are great bedroom additions as they can help store the mountains of toys (and homework) your little one will accumulate over the coming year.
Introduce some quiet time before bed to allow your child to unwind and relax, away from TV, smartphones and tablets. You could create a relaxing area in their room, filling it with cushions, throws, bean bags and low lighting, so they can snuggle down and read a book or magazine before they go to bed.