With schools now back in full swing, nurseries open again and some sense of normality returning with baby and toddler groups up and running again (along with the cooler weather!) it certainly feels that summer has ended. If your summer was anything like ours, you may have had lots of day trips, naps on the go, later bedtimes or disrupted nights while sleeping away from home. 

If you are now wondering how to get things back on track for September, here are Hannah’s top tips. September is a great time to focus on a bit of routine again and get sleep back on track if it’s gone a bit haywire over the last few weeks or months. 

1. Go back to basics with routines
Go back to your usual routines and rhythms. Things like implementing their usual bedtime routines which may have slipped, can help gently reinforce usual sleep cues and habits. For smaller ones, looking at their awake windows and making sure naps are at age and stage-appropriate times can help. 

2. Go back to basics with sleep hygiene 
Good sleep hygiene for our little ones includes thinking about daily habits, and making sure you have a conducive sleep environment (think dark room, white noise, cool/not too warm). Also, remember things like screens & sugary snacks before bed can impact sleep – my girls have been eating ice creams on the beach close to bedtime, but now we’re home we’ll go back to basics with things such as no screens (or ice creams) at least an hour before bed.

3. Take it one day at a time.
You might want to adjust bedtimes gradually, for example, if your little one has been going to bed later over the last few weeks, bringing their bedtime earlier by 15 mins or so over a couple of nights until they are back at their usual bedtime. If you’re little one usually naps but they don’t at preschool for example, it’s OK to let them have a nap at the weekend if you think they need it. Taking it one day at a time for a week or so while things settle will help you and your little one.

4. Check if routines need tweaking

Depending on the age of your little one, they might actually need a slightly different routine – before the summer holidays, my 2.5-year-old was still napping, but now we’ve pretty much dropped it so our routines moving forward will look different. Sleep needs for our children, unfortunately, constantly shift and change and it might be that you need to review their patterns and implement some change.

5. Don’t be afraid to adjust bedtimes 
Your little one might be more tired initially as they start school again (or especially if they are starting school for the first time!!) this is really normal. If they need an earlier bedtime that is OK! You can shift it later again gradually when you think they are ready.

6. Make time for connection 
This is really important and not to be underestimated!! For toddlers, preschoolers and school-aged children, their sleep is hugely linked to their emotional well-being and making time for connection with them is crucial in helping them to sleep well. If they’ve had more of your attention over the holidays, they might find the adjustment back to school or nursery quite tricky and crave more time with you after a long day away from you. This doesn’t need to be much, even just some 1-2-1 play for 10 minutes after dinner or some 1-2-1 reading before bed can really help! 

If you need any support with things like implementing a bedtime routine or making changes to sleep routines, please get in touch with Hannah. https://www.dusktodawnsleep.com/

I’d love to help! x

Posted in: ,