Summer is a time of joy and freedom for kids. However, having a stable sleep routine helps to support healthy growing bodies and minds. Not to mention help keep happy temperaments as well.
When there is no school or daycare to wake up for, sleeping in is tempting. And when the sun is out later and later in the evening it can also make going to bed that much more difficult. Which is why we are here with our top tips on how to maintain a summer sleep routine for your little ones.
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Make Sure They Get The Proper Amount of Sleep:
Before we get into the tips to help you make sure your kids are getting their rest it is important to understand just how much sleep they should be getting. When you are choosing a sleep schedule, it’s important to ensure your kids are getting the correct amount of sleep.
If they are not getting enough, or even getting too much sleep, it can cause all sorts of issues. The following is a list of the suggested amount of sleep your child should get on average per day, including naps.
Of course every child is different so be sure to adjust to your kiddos specific needs. If your little one struggles to get enough sleep or is oversleeping dramatically every day, you may want to talk to their doctor.
- Infants (1 to 2 years old) – 11 to 14 hours per day (including naps)
- Toddlers/Young Kids (3 to 5 years old) – 10 to 13 hours per day (including naps)
- Children (6 to 12 years old) – 9 to 12 hours per day
- Teens (13 to 18 years old) – 8 to 10 hours per day
These numbers are general guidelines for what works best for most kids these ages. It is also a general average, if they stay up one night and make up for it with a long nap or sleeping in the next day, this is perfectly normal.
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How To Ensure Your Kid’s Summer Sleep Routine
Below are 8 very useful and easy ways to ensure your children’s summer sleep routine stays on track. By being mindful of a few things it can not only be great for your kids rest but also easier on you. As well as make for a much smoother transition once it is time to start school again.
1. Keep Their Room Dark:
One of the most common struggles of getting your kids to go to sleep during the summer months is that the days are longer. The sun it out and who wants to go to sleep when the sun is out? Like Anna says, “The sky is awake, so I am awake, so we have to play!” But there are ways to set the mood for sleep, even when the sun hasn’t quite set yet.
Blackout curtains are immensely helpful in situations like this. Simply close the curtains before getting ready for bed and this will help allow the brain to start producing melatonin and eyes to close. A dark room also makes it much less tempting to get out of bed and start playing with toys.
Create a Summer Ready Bedroom that will keep you sleeping well all throughout those hot summer months.
2. Keep It Cool:
While we don’t want to have out electricity bill skyrocket over the summer months it does help everyone sleep easier when it is cooler at night. By setting your thermostat to a slightly lower temperature starting a little before bedtime it can help your body get ready for bed too. The cooler air will instinctually make your kids want to cuddle up a bit more. Even if it is a few degrees in difference it still makes it easier to sleep.
If possible set your thermostat on a schedule to do the work for you. Also, make sure to assess your kids summer bedding and pajamas. It might be time to switch to a lighter blanket if they are too hot. Or also jammies that sleep cooler too. This not only helps when they are going to bed but also helps them sleep more sound and comfortably all night long.
Check out our Summer Favorites for bedding and sleep accessories.
3. Be Consistent:
If your kids have been waking up every day for school, keep that trend going once school starts. It is much easier to keep the ball rolling than it is to allow a month of sleep ins and then try to switch back to a normal sleep schedule. Once they are up, it is up to you whether you want to enforce getting dressed or eating breakfast. Waking up and going to bed at the same time is the most important part to keeping a summer sleep routine.
If the summer bug has already bitten your household and everyone is sleeping in until noon, it is going to be much harder to start waking the kids up on time or getting them to sleep on time.
We also suggest keeping up your nightly routines. If you like to read books in the evening, make sure you continue getting in those bedtime stories. Consistency is to having a healthy sleep schedule.
Check out our Top Favorite Bedtime Stories in our post Benefits to Bedtime Stories & Top 10 Storybooks
4. Continue Napping:
Of course this is a big part of maintaining a consistent sleep schedule for young ones. Even if you’re going on a fun summer vacation and you want the kiddos to enjoy every second they can, they need to nap on schedule.
Trust us, they will be in a much better mood and will enjoy their vacation time way more if they have gotten their usual nap in. Without it there will be tantrums galore, and no one will end up having a good time during your summer vacation.
5. Encourage Physical Activity:
While this is a simple task for parents of most toddlers and young children, those with teenager might have a harder time with this one. Staying physically active during the day swimming, playing sports, etc are a great way to tire yourself out and get out pent up energy.
Which makes it much easier to go to sleep at night. The same is true for all the adults out there, if you are at home on the couch watching your shows or playing video games it will be much harder to fall asleep naturally around bedtime. So encourage physical activities as much as possible, besides it is summer! It’s a great time to get outside and have some fun.
6. Stay Sun Smart:
Sunburns are terribly uncomfortable, they are painful and can even cause fevers, hot flashes, and cold sweats. This is a terrible combination if you’re trying to get a good nights rest.
Getting a sufficient amount of Vitamin D is important for all of us. But remember that summer sun can burn your skin quickly. So be sure to stay sun savvy. Get out and enjoy the beautiful weather, but stay in the shade when you can, where hats and apply and reapply sunscreen often.
Vitamin D and Sleep: learn the benefits of getting the proper amount of vitamin D can have on your health.
7. Avoid Too Much Technology:
While limiting tablet use and TV for kids is important, for your teens it is vital. With an unlimited supply of entertaining on their phones, laptops, and video games. Teens are notorious for staying up all night long doing something fun and then crashing and sleeping the day away.
If your teenager is bored to tears, it is going to be much harder to stay up throughout the night without the stimulus of the internet. Set a time for their devices to be shut off (while you’re at it, makes this rule for yourself as well) this will help them to set their own boundaries with technology in the future as well.
8. Don’t Wait For School To Start:
If you’re having trouble sticking to your schedule, remember that school will be back in session before you know it. While we would all prefer to stay on the exact same schedule throughout the summer it is normal to allow a later start to your day in the summer months.
However, you don’t want to wait to change the sleep schedule until right before school starts. If you’re wanting to avoid the terrible fights and exhausted grumpy kids before school starts, do them and yourself a favor by gradually transitioning back to the hours of a school schedule. It will make everyone life so much easier once school comes back around.
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Tips for Kid’s Summer Sleep Routine Recap
For the most part the important thing is that your kids are getting the right amount of sleep in order to grow healthy and strong. Not getting the right amount of sleep can negatively effect your kids immune system, stunt growth, increase mood swings and generally wear down physical and mental health. So while sleeping in a bit more often than usual is okay, we hope you and your kids find a summer sleep routine that ensures they are getting a healthy amount of sleep every day.
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