Some parenting things just seem to be common knowledge, expected happenings and things that you can fully prepare for and then there are times when something needs to nearly smack you in the face for you to fully get the message. For us this is sleep and adventuring.
Before I get into it all let’s just set up the scene. Spring is here and the days are getting longer which means we ALL want to spend more time outside especially in the evening. It gives us this sense of delight to be able to soak up the daylight for those extra hours but it also means our children don’t seem to get the memo that their bodies are tired and that while it is still light out they need to go to sleep. Lately our littles who semi-easily went to sleep by 7:30/8pm are now not falling asleep until 9/9:30pm (or sometimes later). We have a set bedtime routine that we follow, we have tired blackout curtains and melatonin – which helps to get them to sleep but can sometimes make for cranky mornings. They also consistently get up at the crack of dawn and have for their entire lives.
While we have a consistent routine we do not have a consistent bedtime. Some nights bedtime starts at 7pm and other nights not until 8pm depending on when we eat dinner, whether or not we have been out adventuring or just how much fun Neil and the kids are having outside after dinner.
After a particularly full three days we are now seeing the light. These late nights and early mornings triggered a discussion on how we can remedy the situation. We talked about setting a time of night to be home, to unwind and to keep it consistent. It of course will have inconsistencies due to travel and camping but for the most part we want to be at home unwinding and getting ready for bed by 7pm. We discussed how we can still have full days of fun while still implementing this wind down time strategy.
Just as we are finishing our discussion our oldest two burst out of their room and almost as if on cue a full on meltdown ensues. Just furthering the point that the lack of sleep is getting the best of everyone.
We know that the topic of sleep and bedtimes can be a touchy one and as you can see we are no experts but we are trying to find ways that best support our family. So fingers crossed this new approach will bring more rest for everyone.
If you have tips on how to get your littles to sleep in the summer please send them our way. As I mentioned we have tried black out curtains, essential oils (which do help relax them), melatonin (which knocks them out but negative side effect is cranky mornings), letting them run around before bed, filling their days with tons of outdoor time, letting them unwind with books in bed, early bedtimes, late bedtimes….basically we feel like we have tired everything but if you have a method that is working great for you please share!