The Importance of a Bedtime Routine
Posted by Nicole Towers on
Ever wondered why your child seems generally out-of-sorts or tired?
This may be due to the amount of sleep that your child is (or isn’t) getting. Making sure that your child is getting enough sleep will improve their mood, but also encourage their well-being. Having a good amount of sleep assists them to learn more effectively and problem-solve, as well as help to develop their memory.
Sleep allows time for minds to rest, re-charge and renew their energy.
How much sleep does your child need?
The recommended sleep time on average for children aged 3 months to 5 years is 10-11 hours per night, and having a regular bedtime routine helps set your child up for a healthy, lengthy sleep.
A good bedtime routine helps your child identify timings and know what will happen next – this gives them an understanding of their world and supports them in feeling secure. Children are comforted and reassured by predictability in their routines.
When should bedtime be?
We’d suggest that a good time to aim for is between 7-8pm, to allow for them to spend a period of time with family and carry out activities. Try to include fore-warning of activities so children can prepare, such as “In 10 minutes we are going to have a bath”. Even if your child is very young and doesn’t yet understand the concept of time, it’s helpful for them to memorise the routine and feel relaxed.
Our suggestions for things to include in a bedtime routine:
- Limit the use of technology before bedtime – especially mobile phones
- Make the bedroom as clutter-free as possible
- A nice bath can help children relax
- Soothing music (search for “sleep” on Spotify – there are loads!)
- Time for a bedtime story (one don’t get drawn into the “another!” cycle – One story then lights off)
Why not give it a try? It may not be easy at first, but be persistent and not only will bedtimes become less stressful, but you’ll definitely notice the change in your child!