Tips, tricks and easy kid-friendly recipes to get you through the summer break.
4 Summer break Bedtime Hacks all Parents Should Know! .
Almost every parent struggles through those nights when the kids simply can’t – or won’t! – go to sleep.
You end up squished together in a tiny bed reading book after book or sprawled out on the couch watching TV, just hoping your little one will close their eyes and be lulled to sleep. These nights can be more frequent in the summertime when the days get longer, temperatures rise and kids are excited about warm-weather activities.
If you’re all too familiar with this summer scenario, keep reading for some tips and tricks to get your children to sleep in the summer.
1. Early Dinnertime
For kids, the last meal of the day is an indication that it will soon be time for bed. In order to keep this signal going; it’s a useful strategy to have kids eat dinner at the same time every day. The consistency of mealtimes is very helpful when it comes to getting your kids to bed early. We try to suggest prepping dinner earlier in the day so mealtime and bedtime is less stressful.
Pressed for time? What parent isn’t! Especially when you plan for an early dinner, time might be tight. Follow these quick and easy recipes from Wonder®. Chicken Enchiladas in a Bun can be assembled in an easy 15 minutes using shredded, store-bought rotisserie chicken and Wonder® Real Big Hamburger Buns.
Another delicious option is family-pleasing Pizza Quesadillas, which can be customized with all sorts of different toppings. Add some browned sausage and chopped bacon for a rendition of Meat Lover’s pizza, or go Hawaiian and toss on some sliced pineapple and ham instead of pepperoni.
In an article written by the Cleveland Clinic, Dr. Lee notes that “foods stays in your stomach for 40 to 120 minutes depending on the density of the food. The denser the food, meaning the more protein or fat the longer it takes to digest.”
After eating a larger meal, our digestive system is put to work in order to break down all the tasty food. At times adults and children may feel more tired after a hearty dinner since there digestive system is working overtime.
Take advantage of this bodily reaction to get your kids to sleep more easily. Opt for substantial dinners like Mac and Cheese Burgers or Garlic Bread and Cheese Pasta Pie to make sure your kids have full tummies as they head off to bed.
2. Consistency Is Key!
We can all agree that a bedtime routine is crucial to helping children relax and prepare for a good night’s sleep. A consistent routine also teaches kids to fall asleep more easily on their own. For parents it’s helpful to establish a bedtime routine that is easy to follow, lasts around 30 minutes, and focuses on implementing calming activities like reading a book, singing a lullaby, rocking in a chair or quietly chatting. If possible try to eliminate screen time before bed such as, TVs, phones, and tablets because of there stimulating sounds and visuals.
A solid bedtime routine includes proper hygiene actions like a diaper change, teeth brushing or bathing, if necessary. Performing these practises in the same order every night will teach little ones what to expect around bedtime and will help them relax. Although it can be difficult amidst the busyness of summer, staying consistent with putting your children down to sleep and waking them up at the same time is a recipe for success. As they become more accustomed to a bedtime routine falling asleep will happen more easily.
If your children often wake up at night with the “I’m hungry!” cry, add a small snack to your bedtime routine. Banana Cream Cheese Squares are a light, easy-to-prepare snack that will satisfy nighttime hunger cravings. For a savoury option, opt for these Hot Dog Bun Garlic Breadsticks. The garlic butter can be prepared in advance and kept in the fridge to cut down on prep and cook time. Make sure to stay away from foods that have caffeine in them, like chocolate!
3. Make Distractions Disappear
We all know what it’s like trying to fall asleep (or stay asleep) in the morning when the sun is pouring through your bedroom window. Kids are easily awoken by light, so it’s helpful to limit those distractions as much as possible. A strategy that you could try, is blackout curtains. These thick curtains do not allow light to penetrate through your windows, so your room remains dark all night and into the morning. Try closing the curtains during your child’s bedtime routine to help them get accustomed to the darkness. An added bonus is that the kids won’t see any of the toys in their room, so they won’t be tempted to play when they should be sleeping.
On hot summer nights, many families will open their windows to get some fresh air in the house. If it’s especially warm outside, it’s helpful to keep windows closed during the day to keep the rooms cool and open them at night to allow the cooler air in. Of course, one drawback to an open window in a kid’s bedroom is that the noise outside may keep them awake. Loud teenagers or neighbourhood kids yelling and playing could leave your child feeling left out and eager to join in on the fun. To drown out the noise and help lull your child to sleep some people say that playing soft music or using a sounds machine is a great tool to help limit the outside noise. Get your kids involved by letting them pick their favourite setting and make it apart of their evening routine. Another quick tip is to use a large fan to keep the air circulating in the room.
4. Burn off that energy!
We all know that tiring yourself out with exercise is often helpful when it comes to falling asleep faster. So if you are hoping to get your kids to sleep earlier, makes sure they are getting enough exercise throughout the day. Some fun and easy ways for kids to exercise are playing sports with friends, climbing on play structures at the park, and swimming in a local pool. If your kids are getting bored of their old park games, look online for some new games to teach them and their friends. You could also purchase a few sports balls, bring them to a nearby field, and invite your neighbours to join in on a big soccer or kickball game.
And of course, let’s all keep hydrated! As children exercise under the hot sun, having a steady supply of water and/or fruit will keep them hydrated. Little ones will also get hungry pretty quickly, so have some snacks on hand like Apricot, Cheddar and Chicken Sandwiches and wholesome 9 in 1 Sandwiches for a quick bite to eat. By the time bedtime rolls around, your kids will be happy and all tuckered out from the busy day – and ready to drift off to dreamland.