child sleeps on pillow _ adjusting your kids schedules for back to school
Healthy Living

Adjusting Kids’ Schedules for School

Aug 6 2018
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Make back-to-school a breeze with these schedule adaptations

As summer comes to an end, so do the lazy days and nights of staying up late. Easing your kids into their school schedule is an important part of getting ready for going back to school. Take about two weeks to help get your kids (and yourself) ready for the earlier wakeup call. That way, you’ll have no trouble making it in time for the school bell. These tips will help get you on the road to becoming an early bird. They’ll also give you an easier time transitioning kids from summer to school.

Get back to bedtime

You could go cold turkey. But most experts and parents agree that gradually easing into a new schedule works better. Put kids to bed 15 minutes earlier every night over a two-week period. This helps with adjusting your children’s schedule for school without shocking their systems. The best bedtime for your children depends on the amount of sleep your kids need. The typical amounts of sleep kids need every day according to their ages are:

  • Ten to 13 hours for kids between the ages of 3 and 5
  • Nine to 12 hours for kids between the ages of 6 and 12
  • Eight to 10 hours for kids between the ages of 13 and 18

Start waking earlier

Just as you want to start going to bed earlier, you also want to start getting your kids up earlier. Start setting the alarm 30 minutes earlier every few days. Work your way to your normal time to get up and start getting ready for school. Bedtimes between 7:30 and 8:00 p.m. are ideal for most elementary school children. Stay consistent for best results.

Tire them out

Take advantage of the late summer weather. Getting plenty of physical activity provides huge benefits for sleep health. Make sure your children get at least 30 minutes of exercise every day. Encourage them to get outside and have some fun. It can go a long way to easing your kids onto their new sleep schedule. Avoid anything strenuous within six hours or so of bedtime. Hard exercise too close to bed can keep little ones up later than you want.

Stay mindful of nutrition

Summertime is king for ice cream cones and backyard barbecues. But eating too late can be tough on sleep. Eat any bigger meals and sugary treats at least three hours before bedtime. Ideally, you don’t want kids to go to bed hungry or too full.

Set the stage for sleep

Being revved up and bustling is normal during the summer. Now that things are winding down, look at your kids’ rooms. Are they soothing places to send your children into a wonderful slumber? Ideally, their bedrooms should be dark, peaceful and quiet. Take any electronic devices, televisions and radios out of the rooms.

Create a soothing bedtime routine

Taking time to wind down before bed helps the whole family have a more restful night’s sleep. Include an hour or so of relaxing time at the end of the day. This is the perfect time for a warm bath, story time and plenty of cuddles. Don’t include any screen time during this period. Electronics can disrupt your kids’ natural sleep cycle.

Transitioning kids from summer to school takes time and patience. But it’s all worth it. Rested kids are happy, healthy kids. This is also the time of year to think about scheduling their annual back-to-school physicals. Visit Mercy.com to make an appointment with a pediatrician today.


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