Can you believe summer vacation is coming to an end? If you're like most parents, it happened in a blink of an eye. Even so, getting back on track with a regular routine is tough after weeks of lazy days and late nights. For many kids, this school year also means going back to the classroom for the first time since the pandemic began.
There's always a little excitement and anxiousness — and sometimes tears — when going back to school. But the key is knowing how to make your child's transition smooth and gentle. You still have time to plan a new school-year routine, so your family is ready to start each day off on the right foot.
Here's what to do before bed.
1. Prepare for tomorrow. Cut out the morning panic by having your child choose tomorrow's outfit or help them pick if they're too young. Make sure lunches and book bags are packed and alarms are set, too.
2. Power down and wind down. Blue light from device screens, including TV, videogames, tablets, and phones, can interfere with sleep, so they should be avoided in the evening. Two full hours of screen-free time before bed is best. In addition, dimming the lights a half hour before bedtime allows the body to get ready for sleep. This time can be used to wind down with stories, lullabies, or snuggling.
3. Set a regular bedtime. Kids aren't kids when they don't get enough sleep, and they need a lot of rest to grow and learn. According to leading experts in sleep and pediatrics, preschoolers (ages 3 to 5) require up to 13 hours of sleep, while grade school kids (ages 6 to 12) need nine to 12, and teens should get up 10 hours each night. Slowly move up bedtimes about a week or two before school starts to ensure everyone is ready for the early mornings.
Here's what to do in the morning.
1. Wake up and get dressed. Pajamas are harder to get out of the longer they stay on. So, dress your little one (or encourage them if old enough) as soon as they wake up. And since clothes were laid out the night before, this will be a breeze!
2. Eat a healthy breakfast. It really is the most important meal of the day and gives the body the refueling it needs. But, sometimes, kids aren't hungry and want to skip it. Smoothies or granola bars are great for light eaters.
3. Give yourself enough time. It's no fun for you or your child to feel rushed or stressed at the start of the day. Make a list of the activities that must happen in the morning and decide how much time each one will take. Then figure out when you and your child need to wake up to get it done.
Another great way to ease the stress around going back to school is with homeopathic medicines from Boiron. SleepCalm Kids is a homeopathic aid uniquely formulated with plant-based and other pure active ingredients to address what sometimes keeps kids from sleeping, like upsets, excitement, and schedule changes.* And because it’s melatonin-free, children will not experience next-day grogginess at school. SleepCalm is available in pre-measured liquid doses for children ages 3 and up, as well as meltaway tablets for ages 12 and up. And for daytime symptoms of stress in children 12 and older, there's plant-powered StressCalm to help calm mind and body without sedating.*
*Claims based on traditional homeopathic practice, not accepted medical evidence. Not FDA evaluated.