Summer Sleep Tips

Summer Sleep Tips for Kids

Summer is only a few weeks away and routines are about to go out the window! Summer is a busy time for many families as they spend their evenings at the sports fields, and weekends are spent cottaging and camping making it very difficult to keep a regular routine. When you take kids off their routine and keep them up later then normal or away from their regular sleep habits it can create sleepless nights for parents and cranky kids with sleep problems. We went to Sleep Expert Heather from WeeSleep to get the Top Tips for helping babies and toddlers get the healthy Z’s they need over the summer, and still have loads of family fun by using these Summer Sleep Tips for Kids. Sleep for kids is so important as it helps their body refresh and allows for the body to grow and develop.

How to Help Kids Sleep

Summer Sleep Tips

PLAN FOR NAP(S) ACCORDINGLY

It’s recommended that children of napping age continue to nap regularly throughout the summer months. If a family road trip is on the agenda, and your little one is taking more than one nap, do your best to have that first nap at home and in the crib (as this nap sets the tone for the remainder of the day!). If your child is down to one mid-day nap, plan to hit the road at their usual nap time so that you do not miss their window for sleep – this will allow them to get a sufficient amount of daytime sleep so they aren’t too cranky by the time you reach your destination! If it can be avoided, do NOT skip naps! We all know how it hard it can be to tear kids away from their fun in the sun but their little bodies really do need the rest (kind of like pressing the “re-set” button), especially since they tend to be way more active in the summer. If you encounter some nap resistance, insist on some quiet alone time. Remember that the more rested your child is, the more they (and you!) will be able to enjoy your summer family adventures!

KEEP ROUTINES AS CONSISTENT AS POSSIBLE

Children thrive on routines and, whether at home or at the cottage, they love to know what is happening next! Try to establish a summertime routine that lines up as closely as possible to your regular schedule. This will make it much easier for them to transition from waking to sleeping, especially if they are in an unfamiliar setting or a stimulating environment (so if you’ve just come home from fireworks or a dance party, be sure to allot extra wind down time before bed). Likewise, don’t assume that skipping the bedtime routine will help them get to sleep faster. At a minimum, do a condensed version of your usual routine with a quick bath or massage, into PJ’s, a short story and song followed by their hugs and kisses. Then it’s off to dreamland so they can wake up refreshed to bring on the next day of activities with a smile.

Summer Sleep Tips

HONOUR BED TIMES

It’s expected that we will have occasions where bedtime is later than usual; however, try not to let it extend more than one hour past their usual time, then make sure you get back on track the very next day. The good news is that children with strong, independent sleep skills bounce back quickly after minor disruptions in their sleep schedule routine. We do need to be careful that it does not become a habit though, as it could interfere with their sleep cycles and lead to an accumulation of sleep debt. Keep in mind that consistently late bedtimes can cause more frequent night-wakings and perpetual early morning wakes, which is what we do not want when on vacation! Continue to give your child quiet time before bed to calm down from the day’s activities. Parents are always asking how to help kids fall asleep and one simple way is to keep the routine consistent no matter where you are, including the order of activities such as bath, choosing Pyjamas, or short story as these events signal to the child that bedtime is coming up!

MAKE IT DARK!

Summer Sleep Tips
Photo Credit: GroCompany

One of the biggest challenges in the summer is convincing kids it’s time for bed as they may have difficulty falling asleep when it’s still light out. Our brains use changes in light to signal melatonin release (the sleep hormone) and longer days can slow this process. This is why we strongly recommend the use of blackout blinds – close them before bedtime to engage in some calm activities before your usual routine. If you are travelling, the GRO Anywhere blindworks great to block the sunlight from shining through in the evening and in the wee hours of the morning. Not only will a dark room inject some Melatonin into the equation, it will also help keep your little one’s sleep space cool! Blackout blinds act as a great sleep aid for kids.

CREATE AN APPROPRIATE SLEEP ENVIRONMENT

In addition to having it dark, babies and toddlers typically sleep well in settings that are peaceful, familiar and distraction-free. To help comfort them in a new environment, bring along some of their favourite bath toys, books and their blanket or snuggly buddy (if they use one). You may want to Include a very dim night light so that, if they wake, they will be reassured that they are in the same place they fell asleep. A white noise machine is also a great idea to block out any sounds that may wake your child in the night or in the wee hours of the morning. As an alternative to a white noise machine, a fan will do just fine – again, this will help keep them cool in the case of a heat wave and there’s no A/C (an ideal room temperature for sleeping is 68-72oF).

Finally, if your child is accustomed to sleeping in their own room at home, do your best to maintain this on your travels. If you do not have a separate sleeping area available, you can pin up a double sheet between your bed and theirs to give them the sense of their own sleep space. As long as we do our best to recreate the scenarios and environments they are used to at home, they should be able to fall asleep peacefully and feel comfy and safe through the night!

Recommendation of Sleep Aids for Kids

*This post main contain affiliates, meaning that at no additional cost to you we earn a small commission if you click through and make a purchase.*

Gro Company Gro-Clock Sleep Trainer

The Gro Company Gro-Egg

The Gro Company, Gro Anywhere Blind Curtain, Black

If you have any Sleep Concerns with your Child and Require Assistance, I highly recommend contacting Heather Sharpe from WeeSleep, as she creates Personalized Sleep Solutions that Work and has the Best Sleep Tips!

A Little About Heather:

Wee Sleep Consultant Heather

Heather is a mom of two with a daughter named Avery and a son named Jack. Through the WeeSleep™ program, Heather has overcome sleep issues with her own children, from infancy through toddlerhood. This experience sparked a passion for helping other tired families by giving the gift of sleep. Heather holds a Bachelor of Science Degree from The University of Guelph, which has given her foundation to understand the science behind the importance of sleep. 

With almost 4 years of experience as a Certified Infant and Toddler Sleep Consultant, she has had her fair share of experience with children and sleep and how it plays a role in the overall well-being of both baby and parents. As a certified sleep consultant, she is dedicated to helping you restore balance to your lives by providing a gentle sleep solution specific to your family.

Summer Sleep Tips

Heather offers a Variety of Sleep Consultant Packages many of which can be completed virtually including:

Fresh Start: This package is the perfect choice for new parents or parents to be to start healthy sleep habits from day 1!

Rescue Me: This package is ideal for families who want to meet a consultant in person, have us meet their child and see their space for their child. This package is the ideal choice for parents who feel they will be able to implement a sleep plan for a child under 18 months without in-person guidance.

Toddler Time: This package is ideal for families who have tried different strategies with their toddler or child, or who are not sure what to try and need guidance and professional support.

Speedy Sleep 911: This package is perfect for families with children under 29 months and who are still in a crib, who need sleep and need sleep FAST! Are you pressed for time, exhausted, overwhelmed, and on a budget? Want a plan that is easy to follow…

For more information and to get in touch with Heather:

Visit her on her Webpage, on Facebook, or on Instagram

Summer Sleep Tips

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