Written by Shea Morrison, Co-Founder of The Goodnight Co.
With the changes to our day time routines in the current time, it is really important to stick to consistent bedtime routines to encourage good deep sleep. Children need routine more than ever during uncertain and unpredictable times. Navigating the new norm for the past few weeks has certainly been interesting.
I don’t know about you but I certainly didn’t sign up for running two businesses from home and homeschooling. The answer to chaos is routine, and finding a new routine is something we have been navigating in our household. Calling a family meeting and discussing the changes can be a good place to start, along with initiating a family morning chat.
A family morning huddle can be a really nice way to check in on how everyone is feeling. Discussing what the plans are for the day, setting guidelines and expectations for the children as well as communicating and meetings / zoom calls for the adults. You might even like to write down your new schedule and put it on the fridge or a white board.
Ours looks something like this:
Because we need order.
We need to know what to do with ourselves with all this new unstructured time, even if it’s mainly kids while parents work from home. We need a way to constructively fill the many, many hours we will now be with our children. And if having a schedule brings you peace of mind and keeps your kids appropriately engaged, then do it! Maybe you don’t even have a choice because you know your children only thrive from routine. I suggest writing it down on paper/whiteboard – it needs to be visible to everyone. For younger children you can even look at incorporating a reward chart for sticking to the routine – maybe use stickers and a reward at the end of the week.
Maintain as much normality in the house and daily life as you can,
and include family time. Sticking to consistent wake / bedtimes are really important and making sure your child is getting the recommended hours for their age.
Encouraging your child to create a simple bedtime routine is a great place to start,
letting them have ownership of it and including activities that they like doing. For example, you could dim the lights in their bedroom and light a candle, dab some essential oils (lavender/night time blend) on their pulse points, do a mindfulness exercise, or play a 3 – 5 minute guided meditation. Also try to reduce screentime as much as possible, especially in the evenings. Developing a consistent bedtime routine in little ones will definitely help to foster good habits as they get older.
Our routine and rules are a work in progress.
During the first family meeting post lockdown, we agreed to have meetings weekly and check in on how everyone is going. We are paying attention to the structure and if it is indeed working and we also understand that this may need to change along the way depending on how long we are in this situation.
I do feel that when our long situation of COVID-19 does lift and ‘normal’ life resumes, what we’ve learned can hopefully shape a life that has a little more breathing room than before.
For even more sleep tips, advice and support, join our closed Facebook Group, The Goodnight Community.