With hot bedrooms and lighter evenings and mornings, your little one’s bedtime routine may get disrupted over the summer. Prima Baby’s sleep expert Mandy Gurney of Millpond Sleep Clinic shares her tips.
Shut out the light ‘Our biological clocks are regulated by light. Darkness triggers the production of the sleep hormone melatonin, so ensure your child’s bedroom is as dark as possible during the night. Blackout blinds are invaluable for blocking out bright mornings and long summer evenings.’
Keep cool ‘Research suggests that if your child’s bedroom is too warm, it’ll lead to disturbed sleep. To keep her room cool, shut the blinds during the day and open the windows slightly at night. A low-level fan near a window will help circulate the cool night air.’
Take time to relax ‘At the end of fun summer days, it’s important to have time to wind down and relax before bed. Gentle play or listening to a story will help. If your toddler has a bedtime snack, try a banana, warm milk or an oat biscuit – they contain an amino acid which is thought to make some people sleepy.’
Make a routine ‘Try to carry out the same series of steps every night around 30 minutes before bedtime to establish a clear bedtime routine. Try giving your child a relaxing bath, brush his teeth, then go straight to his bedroom without returning to the living area. Dim the lights and read him a story. Then say good night and leave the bedroom.