If your child has recently returned to school or daycare and is coming home grumpy – I know mine is – it means she is exhausted.
And the solution is – you guessed it – an earlier bedtime.
It doesn’t matter if the current bedtime has worked for them for ages. Returning to school and daycare is exhausting. I know because I worked in a school for many years and I was always exhausted for the first few weeks.
It doesn’t matter if your child is already waking up too early in the morning. In fact, too-early morning wakings are often a symptom of overtiredness.
It doesn’t matter if your child is having trouble falling asleep at night. This, too, can be a symptom of overtiredness. If you miss the ideal window for falling asleep, falling asleep can be much more challenging.
A good way to know if your child is overtired is if they get a second wind of energy in the early evening, or around bedtime. A hyperactive child at this time of day is an overtired child.
If this is your child, do not add any extra afterschool activities yet. Wait a few weeks, until your child seems more himself again.
The need for the extra early bedtime often fades away after a few weeks of adjustment. You can add afterschool activities once this happens. If it’s not possible to skip them all, limit them as much as possible and streamline bedtime so your child still gets to bed extra early.
If you’d like to make this school year a well rested one for your family, schedule a free consult and find out how we can get your family the rest you need to truly enjoy your time together.
Abby Wolfson is a pediatric nurse practitioner, certified child sleep consultant and certified life coach for parents. She divides her time between Brooklyn, NY and San Miguel de Allende, Mexico.