Updated: Jun 16
Can you enjoy those longer summer days with a little one and not mess with sleep? Absolutely!
Who’s less excited about long summer days?!
A mom who is finally getting sleep back, but is stressed about missing out on the pleasures of summer activities, evenings etc...
When you were once in the trenches with a little one that was not sleeping well, and you worked SO hard to finally have them sleeping well consistently, do you want to mess with it to stay a bit longer at the beach?? The answer is definitely no (and kinda yes)!
Being reminded of those sleepless nights and long days with a cranky toddler, is reason enough to haul a$$ into the car hours before bedtime to ensure baby’s schedule isn’t thrown off and all can sleep soundly. While I get it, and I’m all about routines and being consistent, that’s no way to live life everyday. I tell my clients this and I’m telling you – you can have a child that sleeps well and also live life. They are both important and necessary, so it’s best to find a way for both needs to co-exist.
(P.S. Similar thoughts when it comes to travel and sleep, and events outside your normal sleep schedule!)
So, you want to maintain healthy sleep habits in your home and have a predictable sleep schedule, but you also want to soak up the joys of summer days and evenings while you can? No worries. You can totally stay on track with sleep and get that beach day you crave. Just know that the way this all works best, is if you have a solid sleep foundation going in. If you don't , let's chat!
Here are my 5 tips to help you save sleep over the summer:
Consider Sleep Around Plans: So whether it’s heading to the beach for the day or staying past bedtime at a friends BBQ, make sure you get some good rest in somewhere, so overtiredness doesn’t destroy it all. Out for the day? Plan naptime in the car getting there, or makeshift the nap where you can. Skipping a nap? That means early bedtime or sneaking in a catnap that won’t interfere with bedtime. Staying out late? Make daytime sleep a priority that day and return to your sleep routines the following day.
Keep it Dark: Staying on your regular bedtime routine is always important. But with it light out still during bedtime, it can feel tough for your little one to settle at a reasonable hour. A dark bedroom will always help with that. Darkness reminds our body clock that its night (sleep time). Consider blackout blinds, so your little one can get to sleep easier between the 7-8pm hour.
Take in Natural Sunlight! Much like above, but related to daylight - Exposure to the sunlight helps to keep your child’s body clock (circadian rhythm) on track - which contributes to a more restful night. (A Note on Circadian Rhythm: Circadian Rhythms are natural internal processes that follow 24-hour cycles, like an internal body clock, that help to regulate functions in our body. One of the most crucial cycles is the sleep-wake cycle. How does it work? During the daytime, light from the sun signals to the brain that it’s time to be alert, awake and active. Come night, in response to the darkness, our brain (the Master Clock) produces a hormone called Melatonin, which promotes sleep and supports sleep through the night. This system regulates our internal clock of wakefulness and sleep, supporting restorative rest through the night and optimal alertness and activity during the day.
Keep a Consistent Routine: It can be tough in the summer with longer days to take advantage of. It’s the best! But just remember that sleep challenges can creep up when children get overtired, and out of their routines. Try to be as consistent as possible, one or two nights off, and get back to it.
Stick to Morning Routines: Lazy mornings can be a breath of fresh air in the summer, but as a habit, they will throw off the day, and inevitably the night. Try to have your children up at their regular hour in the morning and start the day off right with what they are used to.
❤️ End of summer tip: It may be inevitable that your child has gotten used to later bedtimes and later mornings. But, come Fall/Back-to-School you may be itching to get back into your schedule with regular restful nights. Think ahead and get them back in to their regular routines a few weeks before. For best results move bedtime 15-minutes every 2 to 3 nights, and wake them 15-minutes earlier every 2 to 3 mornings. Continue until they are at their usual times through the year.
Hope this helps ease your mind this summer while you balance sleep and play⛱️
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