Summer is very much here, hopefully I am not the only parent to be suffering from the “daylight at bedtime, therefore it cannot be bedtime” issue with the children? The long days mean that darkness hits around 9:30pm, which is far too late for the kiddies to be going to bed. There is an answer to this though: blackout blinds! They are a must have for any child’s bedroom, completely magic.
It could be sunny at midday and when you close those blinds, instant darkness. It is great. Obviously it takes a little more than just blinds to get the children to sleep, little Isla has never been a good sleeper. She is such a drama queen too, she will roll around crying just for being a little warm. I have a few tips up my sleeve, some of which we are still working through and yes she is 5 not 5 months!
Tips on getting the children to bed in the Summer
Use the blackout blinds
At 6:30pm, the blinds are shut and therefore the room is dark. I turn the lamp on and pretend it’s Winter, basically. I think it helps to calm them down, that ole routine thing kicks in. Darkness means bedtime. So once this happens, we get ready for bed and read our bedtime stories. I then leave their audio story on whilst they drift off. Well, usually it’s Noah that drifts off and Isla fights it for another hour.
Stay in the bedtime routine
Don’t think that because it’s lighter outside the children should stay up later, that doesn’t help. It also doesn’t work like that for children. They still get tired. We fell into the trap of late nights and the kids just built up their tiredness and became so frustrated – it was horrible. Try to keep their bathtime, storytime and wind down time routine in place. Keeping it to the bedroom too always helps, instead of reading in the garden. All children are different though, so keep it to wherever you usually read to them.
Do not talk to them
This is something we are working through at the moment. Isla has this great idea that if she walks down the stairs every 10 minutes, after she’s been put to bed, it is fun for everyone. No. I got to the point where I was sitting in her bedroom with her, until she fell asleep. To relieve the stress. But although it calmed me down, it didn’t really help Isla. She just learns that Mummy will sit with her when I go to sleep. Something I did until she was about 9 months old. I chose the easy option, which isn’t always the best. So now, when she comes down, we do not talk to her and we put her back to bed. This has been working, she tries her luck a few times but then goes to sleep.
Choose your story wisely
I find, more often than not, the longer the story, the more chance there is of them falling asleep. Or at least being sleepy before I leave the room. If I read a short story, they tend to ask for more – which in turn keeps them awake longer. Its a bit of a cycle I have noticed. Also, I have realised when I read stories in a very dramatic and animated way, they get more excited which doesn’t help settle them. So I try to animate the stories, but not too much!
Children’s bedroom image by ShutterStock.