At my most recent sleep seminar, one of the topics that caused a lot of questions and chat was that around what time your child should go to bed, especially in children under a year.
It’s my recommendation is that all children over the age of 3 months (so out of that newborn stage) should go to be between 6-8pm, but why?
Firstly and perhaps selfishly, if you get your kids down by 7pm, you then have a whole evening ahead of you to do whatever you like… cook a nice meal, spend time with your partner, watch a movie, paint your nails etc etc. All of those things that before having children, you wouldn’t have even wondered about having to time to do!
Secondly and more importantly it’s obviously all about the kids. Children need their sleep to grow and thrive during the day and their bodies respect and love a routine once it has been introduced. There is a bit of science behind it as that long restful period of sleep during the night generates deep REM sleep which is vital to waking up the next day and having the energy to enjoy the day.
One of the key things to avoid with bed time is overtiredness. I’ve often heard, ‘My child doesn’t seem tired at night, they just run around going crazy! ‘ This isn’t a sign that they aren’t ready to go to sleep, it is probably a sign that they are overtired! Overtiredness in children can look like hyperactivity and they will invariably find it much harder to settle at night and potentially through the night.
It’s also worth thinking about their biological clock, like adults children get a slump after eating. So the best opportunity to try and make the most of that slowdown in activity is after the dinner hour.
Timing is everything so have a look at your schedule and see whether you are giving your child the opportunity to get the right amount of sleep that they need. Have a look here for a guide to the amount of sleep that children need across a 24 hour period. www.sleeptimebaby.co.uk/2016/05/11/how-much-sleep-to-children-and-adults-really-need
If you are having struggles figuring out what that ideal schedule is then give me a call and I can help you with figuring it all out and getting everyone back to a good night’s sleep! Give me a shout on 07748677908 or email firstname.lastname@example.org