Most preschoolers need ten to twelve hours of sleep a night, and some still nap during the day. A consistent bedtime routine is the best way to handle many preschoolers sleep problems.
Sometimes preschoolers can take a while to settle and get to sleep. This is because they’re busy thinking about the day even after they go to bed, if their anything like Tobias they’re also talking to themselves about what the next day or even next six weeks are going to entail! Sleep is an important part of everyone’s life to aid with health (sleep strengthens your child’s immune system and reduces the risk of infection and illness). It also helps with growth and development. When children get enough good quality sleep, they’re more settled and happy during the day (Seth does not like being tired, believe me, he likes to let EVERYONE know about it)!
Just like in a morning, the evening and bedtime routine needs to stay as consistent as possible to help your child wind down and get ready for sleep. Our current evening routine looks something like this:
4pm – Gavin goes out to work and the boys and I will play for an hour.
5pm -the boys will continue to play, either in the garden or in the living room whilst I get the house ready for nighttime and start making tea.
5.30pm – teatime
6pm – bath time, teeth brushing and getting into PJs
6.30pm – television time
7pm – Seth goes to bed whilst the boys watch television and Gavin gets in from jobs on the farm.
7.15pm – I read books with the boys, I’ve set a 2 book limit (they choose one each) otherwise it goes on a long time and bedtime is dragged out.
7.30pm – Hamish and Tobias get into bed and go to sleep (Hamish will fall asleep within half an hour whilst Tobias can take longer).
Some nights if Tobias hasn’t fallen asleep but Hamish has, we let him come sit with us and have some quality time. we’re finding the lighter nights are really not helping with him winding down, letting him have half an hour on his own makes him relax and I’m sure he’s happy that he’s allowed to stay up a little longer, being the oldest. He also, always goes straight to sleep when we do let him do this, so that’s a win in my eyes!
Once the boys are in bed I will do the packed lunches, pack bags and set out clothes for the next day, just to make my life that little bit easier!