Who doesn’t love summer – lighter evenings, BBQs, warmer days and sunshine (hopefully!)?
But as a parent, one thing I don’t love is trying to get my children to bed. The cries of ‘it’s still daytime’ and ‘it’s not dark yet’ are a common bedtime occurrence.
While we had the longest day of the year last week, and darkness starts to slowly creep back, there’s still plenty of weeks left of lighter evenings especially for children’s bedtimes.
Keep it dark
If you haven’t already, purchase a blackout blind and blackout curtains. They are the holy grail for parents. We need darkness to trigger the production of melatonin, the hormone required to make us feel sleepy.
Stick to routine
As easy as it might be to let the bedtime routine slide when it’s light outside, try not to! Establishing and sticking to a bedtime routine is one of the most important things you can do to get children sleeping when they should. Children, and adults, thrive on it. Keep it calm and relaxing – no TV or tablets – but instead bath, put on PJ’s, brush teeth and read together.
Get fresh air
Take advantage of the long summer evenings by going for a walk or playing games outside after dinner as part of ‘family time’ and to hopefully wear them out. Follow with the bedtime routine.
We all suffer when it’s too warm at night. To keep the temperature down, leave the blind down, with a window open, during the day. Strip nightwear back – let them sleep naked or just in PJ shorts – and use lighterweight bedding. If the children are old enough, use an electric fan.