Tips to improve bedtime for 5-year-old children
What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you think of creating a bedtime routine for a 5-year-old? Tears, shouting, stalling and distraction techniques all spring to ours!
No doubt that steering your 5-year-old towards bedtime can be challenging. To ace your child’s nighttime ritual, the starting point is figuring out how much time they should be spending in snooze land. The next step is tying down a bedtime (we know it’s easier said than done, but we’re onto something here). The how-to is the part that all parents want to know, so let’s get into it!
How many hours should a 5-year-old sleep at night?
Ten to thirteen hours of sleep is what your 5-year-old should be aiming for every night. A well-rested child is one that can focus, learn new information and remember it the next day while meeting their growth targets. Each age group has recommended hours of sleep, so make sure your 5-year-old is sleeping accordingly!
What time should a 5-year-old go to bed?
Looking at your child’s wake-up time and taking into account their daily routine of school, playtime, naps and after-school activities, between 7pm and 9pm is the best time for them to nod off. At that time, they’ve had a full day, have eaten dinner and are settling in after bathtime. Online sleep calculators can also give you a better idea of the time to send your kids to bed and can be used for the whole family.
Tips to improve your child’s bedtime routine
Now that you know how many sleep hours your 5-year old should be clocking in, how do you create a bedtime routine to make it happen? One thing is for sure, playing drill sergeant won’t help you much. Rather, practise some simple home habits and sleep remedies that your child will remember and enjoy doing.
- Set a consistent sleep and wake time every day.
- Remove all distractions like electronics and devices from the room.
- Create a wind-down routine of 15 to 30 minutes to help your child feel safe and secure. Reading a bedtime story, bathtime and a tuck-in are all ways to help them feel comfy and safe.
- Limit caffeine, cooldrinks, and sweets as a treat to the weekends, banning them before bedtime.
- Encourage your child to play outside, as taking in the light will help suppress melatonin during the day and release it at night so that your child feels more sleepy when it’s bedtime.
- Keep noise and light to a minimum in your child’s bedroom. The room should be dark, quiet and cool.
- Nap times should ideally be 15 to 20 minutes to prevent your child from being too awake later, and struggle to fall asleep.
Keep an eye out on your child’s sleep patterns. If they consistently struggle to fall asleep and stay asleep; if they feel restless, can’t concentrate and are disruptive in the classroom, then it could be a sign of a sleeping disorder. Visit a sleep specialist to get advice or medication to help your child sleep better.
See? Bedtime routines for 5-year-olds are doable practises that will have you prepared for daytime activities. If order, consistency, and a thriving 5-year-old are what you want, these tips will deliver. Expect hugs, smiles and sleepytime bliss all around!