Getting Kids to Sleep in the Summer
With summer comes longer days and warmer weather — and kids who don't want to go to bed because it's still light outside. How do parents cope? Try these simple tricks for getting your kids to bed, and to sleep, even on the longest day of the year.
- Stick to a Bedtime Routine
Establishing and sticking to a bedtime routine all year round is the most important thing you can do to make sure you are getting your kids to sleep on time. Children like routine; it reassures them. So use this to your advantage, and follow the same bedtime routine every single night. Bathe, put on the pajamas, brush teeth, read with Mom or Dad. Your kids will naturally become tired around bedtime, and if don’t’ stick with a bedtime routine, their sleep, and yours, will suffer.
- Wear Them Out
Take advantage of the long summer evenings to play games outside after supper. The whole family gets to enjoy this time together, and the kids are likely to be more than ready for bed at bedtime. Just be sure to follow all that play with that calming bedtime routine you've established so they aren't too wound up to sleep.
- Control the Sleep Environment
Try to keep your children's rooms at the same temperature and level of darkness all year round. You might have to use room-darkening drapes and air conditioning to achieve this, but your kids' solid night of sleep is your reward. Keep outside noise from disturbing your kids' sleep by choosing the location of their bedrooms wisely. This is especially important in the summer when you might want to sit outside and enjoy the fine evening with friends.
- Use Common Sense
Your children aren't robots; they aren't going to fall asleep on command. Give them the best possible sleep environment, and then trust that they will put themselves to sleep. As long as they are in their rooms, are quiet and can get up in the morning without fuss, they’ll be fine.