Thursday, August 8, 2013

Developing A Back to School Sleep Schedule & Bedtime Routine

One of the biggest parts of getting ready for Back to School in the Larios house has to do with getting my boys back on a sleep schedule.

I've always been a stickler for any type of schedule for my kids; otherwise the days are just pure chaos. But as my kids have gotten older I've slowly come to my senses and let up a bit during the summer months.

Which have made for some great summer memories.

But with the school year looming, its only a matter of time before my 8:30am wake up call becomes a 6:30am one and we all have to be up, dressed, and semi-functioning before the sun.

(Just saying it makes me feel grumpy and tired.)

So with that in mind there are a few things I like to do in advance to ensure that our lazy summer mornings make a smooth transition into busy, routined ones; and getting back onto a sleep schedule that fits our school day routine is one of them.

About a month before school starts (like right now) I begin this transition by moving the boys' bed times up by an hour.

Since Tyler has been going to bed around 10:00 lately...(at least that is what he's been telling me. What he doesn't realize is that Mommy is a good spy and knows he's been staying up playing his gameboy until at least 11:00)...which would now makes his new bedtime 9:00.

And next week I'll be moving bedtime up another hour, reaching our final bedtime of 8:00.

By doing this a few weeks in advance it gives him some time to get used to the new schedule making it more of a habit for him by the time school comes around (and making my life that much simpler when I have to force myself out of my warm bed far too soon).

However, this is only the first step to ensuring a good night's sleep for the long, stressful days of school ahead. I also like to reinstate a simple and easy bedtime routine.

A few years ago I came across a simple little blog called I Heart Organizing where I not only learned this easy way of developing a sleep schedule change for the kids (What? You thought I came up with it on my own? I wish I was that smart) but I also discovered an easy to follow bedtime routine for the boys.

The routine consisted of 6 things for the boys to do in a specific order every night before bed:

1. Put on Jammies
2. Brush their teeth
3. Get a drink of water
4. Go potty
5. Read a bedtime story
6. Have lights out!

That's it. We start it about 30-45 minutes before we want the boys in bed and have adapted it for our toddler to use as well.

And the best part? She made a free printable that I have framed and hung on my fridge so we can all know what we are supposed to be doing next.

Because as we know, kids thrive on routines and schedules. They like to know what's happening next and the pictures are great for that and I love that it forces me to have story time to them each night (as a stay at home mom, this can be hard for me because there is always something I need to get done before I can sit down and relax for the evening).

If you haven't checked out I Heart Organizing I really suggest that you do.

I'm addicted to the site and could spend hours on it. She has some great ideas and as the mother of three boys herself, has helped me immensely with getting organized for my children and setting up daily schedules and routines.

As moms everywhere know, getting kids ready for Back-to-School is hard enough without the pressure of making sure they get a good night's sleep. Using these simple tools that has become one thing I don't really have to sweat. I can now focus on whether I'd like him to wear the angry birds shirt on his first day or the polo.

Or maybe the blue on with the stripe....


  1. Oh...the bedtime routine! We are working on that now too! Thankfully the kids have kept the morning routine pretty similar because of day camps while dad and I are at work.

    1. That's nice! Ours has been completely different this summer since I stay at home, we've been lazy lazy lazy...

  2. I am totally slacking on getting my daughter back ready for school considering the fact that it begins in a little less than two weeks! THEN we have a quick vacation next week! I not only have to get her back to going to bed early, but also prepare her for going without the daily naps! I have a lot of work ahead of me!

  3. I've had to start this same BackToSchool bedtime routine...I do it pretty much to same way but i've fallen off my schedule a bit...but this week is definitely the starting point. LOL

  4. I cannot TELL you how glad I am that I read this today. Our school starts in 2 weeks and I haven't begun the sleep rescheduling AT ALL. GAH!! It's so crucial, and I need to get going! It's one of the hardest things about going back to school, but once we're in that's fantastic! --Lisa


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