Back to School Sleep SURVIVAL !


The new school year is almost upon us! Up here in Scotland the kids are back on Tuesday 20th August. I’m sure that most parents are looking forward to resuming some normality and structure to the week with the return to school.

The first week back can be a massive change and shock to the system for children, even those who have been used to pre-school. For those starting their first year of Primary it’s a new establishment, with new friends, and generally a new experience, so it can be emotionally draining for them.

So be aware that they will be more tired than usual, and so will those little ones who’ve already started school and will be going from a relaxed, holiday routine to a much more regimented school-time one. It’s a big change.

Here are some tips for coping with the first few weeks:

1. Get organised – try to work out a quick, efficient routine. Easier said than done I know with little ones running around, refusing to get in their car seat or taking ten minutes to put one shoe on (yes, I’ve been there!), but if you can work out what needs to be done and when, and allow time for faffing and ‘what if’s’, it will really help. And if you end up being early, then brilliant, you get a bit more time with your little ones before school starts.

2. Early nights will really help – if your little one starts school and is suddenly waking early, it’s likely they’re overtired for all the excitement of school; overtired may also show up in the form of those dreaded bedtime battles (more on that in a minute) or waking in the night. The best way to fix these is with early nights, just shift bedtime by half an hour so they can top up on sleep – it might feel hard to fit this in with homework, tea and catching up on the day, but you’ll soon adjust to the new routine and it will really help them. And let them catch up at weekends too, I’m sure you’ll all appreciate the rest!

3. Be Creative - If you know your little one is likely to have bedtime tantrums and dramas when they’re tired, try switching the bedtime routine around a bit – for example, for the few weeks they’re settling in to school you could move their bath and getting in to their pyjamas to when they get home, then have dinner, homework time or some calm, cozy cuddles, knowing that they’re ready for bed and you just need to brush their teeth and read them a story. It doesn’t even have to be every day, but it will help on days that you sense there could be a bit of a bedtime meltdown!

4. Consider your commitments – Unless you need to for childcare reasons, it’s wise to save after school activities until later in the school year. During the first term, getting home for some down time has some huge benefits!

REMEMBER - they are likely to be more tired than usual, help them through this and it doesn’t last forever!

If you have any questions on how to meet your child’s sleep requirements, or how to handle challenging situations to ensure they are well rested and ready for the school day, keep an eye out for my monthly sleep clinics on FB (@fairysleepmum) where I am live and available to provide advice and support. FOR FREE!

Head over to my Sleep Support Group to find my community of tired parents, a safe place to share experiences, learn from others, ask a qualified specialist questions and get relevant information. ALL FREE!


Happy Back to School ! *All parents collapse in a heap*