The day we broke up, September seemed a long way away and I was starting to wonder how I would cope 24/7 with the three of them at home on my own. But somehow we are mid-August and I’m actually starting to wonder how I’m going to fit in all our play dates!
When he goes back he will be in year two and this year is his last year in the current building as next year he moves over to the juniors. Where has my baby gone?!
It’s actually on a whole been pretty good. We have had the slight argument about Peppa Pig vs Horrible Histories on the TV but I’m starting to factor buying new uniform and getting feet measured with back to school firmly in mind. Not only that, but our time for bed routine has become somewhat lax over the holidays so I’m needing to start getting Charlie back into the swing of bath, teeth, story, bed – no late night games of Lego! So I’ve devised a few handy tips for you guys along with some from the lovely folk at Silentnight who are wanting everyone to go back to school and back to sleep as smoothly as possible.
Tips for back to school
- Look at what types of uniform you are going to need. Charlie needs elasticated waists as he is so tall but so skinny! We also go for polo tops opposed to shirts making it easier for him getting dressed after PE
- Shop around. We are moving into year 2 so I’ve learned which uniforms wash best/stand the test of time. For us – it’s supermarkets all the way!
- Look to get their feet measured towards the end of August. It’s worth paying a little extra as they’re going to be wearing them everyday
- A lunchbag with a water bottle holder built in is very handy as on PE/forest school days a water bottle is one less thing to carry
Tips for back to bed
- Try to get into a set routine so they know they are on the wind down
- Fresh comfortable bedding and comfortable pillows are always a winner for a good night sleep
- Try not to have too many bright lights on as they’re trying to drift off
Dr Nerina who is Silentnight’s sleep therapist, has listed her top sleep tips to help your child ease back into their school-time sleep schedules:
1. Start to introduce technology-free time in the evenings
Research has shown that by having a constant stream of light enter our eyes before we go to sleep, we are actually telling our brains that we want to be awake. An hour or so before children go to bed, rule out any blue light, so no TV, tablets or mobile phones. The bedroom should be a technology free environment.
2. Gradually reintroduce earlier bedtimes
An ideal bedtime for pre-teens would be no later than 8.30pm, gradually shift bedtime earlier over the course of a few days to allow children to adjust.
3. A calming pre-sleep routine
The few hours before bed can be just as important as actual bedtime. Relaxing baths with lavender, a milky drink or reading are great ways to help children wind down and feel ready for bed.
4. Have a chat
Heading back to school or starting a new one, can be worrying for some children, and leave them feeling anxious. Talk to your child about any concerns they may have before bedtime, and encourage simple yoga or meditation by repeating a calming word or by helping them with their breathing techniques, including breathing deeply from the stomach.
5. Create a sleep friendly bedroom
Bedrooms need to be sleep friendly and this means a cool environment. Freshly laundered bedding, can make a room feel more calming and relaxing. Again, technology free bedrooms are a must!
It is scientifically proven that exercise can help you get a better night’s sleep. Regular exercise is one of the most effective ways of reducing stress hormone levels (mainly adrenaline) thus enabling you to sleep more deeply. A short walk with children after the evening meal would be the perfect exercise to help them wind down.
7. Good nutritional habits
To help us sleep we need a good balance of the hormones serotonin and melatonin in our system. Sending children off to school with a balanced lunchbox will help to promote a healthy hormone balance. Things such as chicken, cheese, tuna, eggs, nuts and milk are all high in serotonin and are lunchbox friendly.
For more information and sleep tips visit www.silentnight.co.uk/sleep-matters
What are your top tips for going back to school and getting a good night sleep?
This post was written in collaboration with Silent Night