If your child is among the three-fourths of kids in the U.S. who participate in a preschool program, you’ve probably been lectured about a variety of back to school tips. One of the most fundamental tips that can’t be overlooked, however, is the importance of helping your child get a good night’s sleep. A lack of sleep can be detrimental to a child’s ability to learn and grow, particularly when it comes time to engage in all those fun academic preschool activities.
Here are some ways to help your child get the best sleep possible.
Tips for an Effective Bedtime Routine
- Establish a half-hour winding down period before bedtime.
- Keep the bedtime consistent and alert your child 30 mins and 20 mins beforehand.
- Keep mealtimes and playtimes consistent, as well.
- Avoid sugary foods and/or beverages near bedtime.
- The bed should only be used for sleeping, not playing or watching TV.
- Keep the bedroom quiet or play soft, soothing music or white noise.
Between academic preschool activities, kids need time to slow down and rest so they are ready to learn and play for the remainder of the day. If you want your child to nap during the school day, it is essential that you establish a naptime routine at home as well. Just like you do at bedtime, establish a set time and routine to encourage rest and relaxation. Your preschooler may resist, but you must keep the routine consistent for it to work at all. Many academic preschool programs have an hour-long naptime, but it is ultimately up to you. Let your child rest for as long as you feel is necessary. One of the benefits of academic preschool is the teachers’ willingness to work with parents around their individual parenting styles. If you wish your child to sleep for longer or shorter than one hour, communicate this to your child’s teacher.
The key to a good night’s sleep is establishing healthy bedtime habits early on. That is why creating a solid routine is so beneficial. If you are concerned about your child’s sleeping habits, consult your pediatrician to rule out any health or medical issues that might be disturbing your child’s sleeping patterns.