If your child has gotten used to going to bed late over the summer you can gradually move bedtime earlier in 30 minute increments over the course of several days till you reach your desired bedtime for the school year.
Additionally, you can start waking your child up at the time he/she will need to wake up for school. This can help with pulling bedtime earlier as well as creating a morning ritual that allows your child to have a little bit of "me time" before beginning the day.
If the word routine makes you cringe, it may be helpful to remember that children thrive with routines. In particular, a pre-bed routine helps children have an easier time transitioning to sleep. Bedtime routines do not have to be complicated. A routine of bath/shower, brushing teeth, books and cuddles done in the same order every night can help your child relax and sleep better.
Here are a few additional tips that can help with your little one's sleep this school year:
*Getting fresh air and exercise in the afternoon can help your child sleep better at night.
*Engage in quiet activities (books, puzzles, coloring) leading up to bedtime. Loud toys and roughhousing can be stimulating and are not conducive to sleep.
*Turn off electronics (TV, phones, computers, tablets, etc) at least 1 hour before bed. The light emitted by these devices can actually impede the production of melatonin thereby making it more difficult to fall asleep.
*Preparing lunches, outfits & backpacks the night before can help reduce anxiety before bed and create a more peaceful morning.
*Avoid caffeine, particularly in the afternoon, as it can interrupt sleep.
Wishing you all a wonderful school year!
Yours in sleep,
Tracie / Rest Well Baby