Five ways to help your kids have a relaxed and restful summer

Don’t let the warm weather and school holidays derail your kids’ bedtime routines with these summer sleep solutions.

Summer holidays can often play havoc when it comes to kids and their behaviour. Long days spent at the beach or by the pool followed by hot, restless nights can lead to tired, frazzled or over excited children.

Rather than relying on kids to self-monitor, it is up to parents to take charge of the situation and ensure youngsters have plenty of time to rest and recover.

Here are some top tips to help kids – and parents – keep their cool during a long, hot summer.

Stick to bedtime rituals

One of the biggest keys to happy children is to ensure they are getting enough sleep. Sleep is an essential part of a child’s health and well-being. Between increased daylight hours and irregular routines, it can be a struggle to ensure your children get the rest they need.

Whether you are at home or away on holidays, a consistent bedtime routine is a must for a good night’s sleep. Prepare kids for bed the same as at any other time of year – get them to have a bath or shower, brush their teeth, read them a story or have some quiet reading time of their own and then hugs and kisses before lights are out. By keeping to your regular schedule, it will help to signal to them that it is time to rest and it will also help them relax.

Be active

There is nothing like a busy day to ensure children fall – and stay – asleep during the night. From fun play dates with friends to splashing away at the pool, it’s essential for kids to use up their energy during the day so they don’t save it all up for the night. Swap indoor movie sessions for a play at the park or beach; outdoor activities will not only help them stay healthy, it’s also bound to make them happy, which ultimately leads to better behaved kids.

Curb the excitement

It’s easy for kids to get caught up in the excitement of seemingly endless summer days. But this may lead to erratic behaviour – whether speaking out of turn or getting too physical. Help your child stay in control of their behaviour by removing them from a situation before it gets out of hand, or try distracting them with another fun activity.

Look for warning signs

Young children in particular are unlikely to admit they are tired – until it is too late. Rather than waiting for the inevitable meltdown to hit, catch them before it gets to that point. You know your child best – if they start getting hyper or emotional, strike while the iron is hot and begin their bedtime routine. Heat can also create frazzled kids – and parents – so keep extra vigilant for warning signs on hot days.

Keep cool

Hot nights and too bright rooms make it hard for anybody to sleep well. Consider installing blackout shades, turn up the air-conditioning unit or portable fan, or even pop a wet flannel on your child’s forehead to help them cool down and settle in for a good night’s sleep.

Need to reset your child’s sleep patterns after the holidays? Discover why consistent bedtime routines are so important for kids here.