Back to School: Sleep Advice

January 18, 2024

Back to School: Sleep Advice

Written by Co-founder of House of Bimbi, Courtney Norris.


As Summer holidays come to an end, many families are making checklists of questions and to do’s before the academic year commences. They are asking themselves, do the uniforms still fit? is everything labelled? are the school shoes too small? and what school supplies do we need? What is often crucially forgotten on this list is SLEEP. Getting our children back on track with their sleep routine can mean ‘happy days’ vs ‘terrible meltdowns’ as school kicks off!


We reached out to families and parents and asked them for their seasoned advice.


Here are some of our best tips for getting your child onto a school-friendly schedule.


Wake Up Time – Advice from a much more experienced family of four suggested, the sooner you get your little ones used to their ideal wake up time the better. Best practice is to introduce this as soon as you possibly can. You can do this cold turkey or move it back 15 mins per day. Depending on how much time you have between starting the new routine and school commencing.


Ideal Bedtime - As parents, we have a pretty good instinct for how much sleep in the night our child needs. Go with this as your guide and adjust where necessary. From our combined experience, it takes a good week to settle into a good bedtime routine. Importance here is to stay strong, persist when there is push back (there always will be) and be consistent.


Unwind Time – It is important to give your child at least 30 minutes of downtime to relax, bath time, read or play a simple activity. Dimming the lights also helps set the mood for sleep time.


Bedtime routine – Children thrive with predictability. Bedtime rituals really help set them up for success at bedtime. Whether it be brush teeth, use the bathroom, have some water, followed by song or story or mediation. Do what works for you and your child. Predicable sleep cues work best here and getting them ready for Zzzzz.


Early Start – Along with the new bedtime, adjust their afternoon schedule accordingly. This means bringing everything forward so as to allow you plenty of time for downtime, bedtime rituals and routine to unfold at a comfortable pace. Rushing doesn’t equal relaxing…


Top Additional Tips from parents to help with the above:


Mindfulness activities e.g. breath work, listening to a guided meditation or story. We love the Calm app (see link) the kids section is amazing and a great sleep aid a great resource for online classes for mindfulness activities to do with your children to get them in a zen place.

Avoid snacking to close to bedtime. This is sending the body a message to wake up!

Keep things dark. We dim the lights at 7pm in our house. This will help your child’s body naturally release melatonin and prepare for a good night’s rest.

Avoid naps & snoozing in the AM. This is like taking two steps forward and two steps back. Eliminate the confusion.

Stay consistent and Stay strong. You’ve got this!

If you would like to learn more around sleep and sleep routines from baby to children we suggest these resources:

The Sleep Lady: Baby Sleep & Parenting Expert @thesleeplady

Taking Cara Babies: Baby and Toddler Sleep Expert @takingcarababies




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