Summertime is almost over, and that means back to the grind. For parents, it can be stressful to get kids back on a good sleep routine.
Lauren Preusz is a mother of three young children and knows vacations, cookouts and late bedtimes must come to an end. But how?
"Bedtime definitely got pushed back a lot later than normal, and then they were sleeping in later," Preusz said. "But with school coming up they can't be staying up to 9 p.m. or 9:30 p.m., then waking up and getting to school by 8 a.m."
She says she's worried about what later bedtimes could do to her children once school begins.
"I didn't want to worry about behavioral issues at school, or them being too tired to actually be present, participate, and learn," Preusz said.
Sleep experts and doctors alike recommending rolling bedtime back about 15- to 20-minute a day until school starts to make sure kids are ready for a new sleep pattern.
"This is now the time you should be moving the bedtime up and that bedtime routine close to bedtime, so they associate the routine with the actual going to bed," said Dr. Celina Moore, a pediatrician.
Preusz hired the Cradle Coach, a team of sleep consultants, to help get her family back in the routine of early bedtimes. The Cradle Coach team says kids need between 10 and 12 hours of sleep per night.
"Routine is huge," Cradle Coach sleep consultant Janelle Aubert said. "Start bedtime routine about 45 minutes before bed and making sure your child has plenty of time to unwind."
In addition, Aubert recommends looking at children's diets and cutting back on sugar.
She also says first-time students can experience some sleep regression from the stress of a new routine.
"Take time to prepare," said Aubert. "Talk about it. Show them pictures and visuals and be sure to increase quality and one-on-one time with them."
"Start talking about exactly what's going to happen. Mommy is going to take you in the morning. Daddy is going to pick you up," Aubert said.