Looking for Easy Baby Bedtime Solutions for Working Parents?
One of the most common things I hear from working parents is that between work, daycare pick up, and dinner, an early bedtime routine can be an impossible feat. As a sleep educator and a working mom, I have had to make some adjustments to my family’s schedule in order to help facilitate easy bedtimes. I understand that, and acknowledge that while in a perfect world, your tot would always be fed, bathed, and in bed nice and early, the real world is rarely perfect. There are, however some easy baby bedtime solutions for working parents that you can use to help promote better sleep for everyone.
- Whenever possible, have an earlier bedtime. Even 15-30 minutes can make a difference in how well-rested your child is and how easily they go down for sleep. Often when you make this adjustment it’s difficult to go back to a later bedtime because you see how well your child accepts that earlier bedtime. If you just can’t move bedtime any earlier on weekdays, go for an earlier weekend bedtime and try your best to protect naps, always.
- Routine, Routine, Routine. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: a consistent bedtime routine is absolutely key to a good night’s sleep for everyone. After a long day, I know it’s tempting to rush through bedtime, but it’s not a good idea. A consistent bedtime routine helps your child wind down for sleep, which saves time in the long run since it eliminates a lot of the reasons that kids get out of bed after bedtime. The bedtime routine is also a chance for parents to connect with their kids one-on-one, which is even more important on those days where the schedule is jam-packed.
- Plan to Succeed. Sometimes it’s not a big thing that sends the schedule off-track, but all of the little things like missing an ingredient for dinner. Meal planning for the whole week and double checking that you have all of the necessary ingredients the night before can go a long way to smoothing out the after work chaos. I’m a huge fan of slowcooker meals – your dinner cooks while you are at work and all you have to do is garnish and serve when you walk in the door. Another fast and easy option that my family loves is breakfast for dinner.
- Create an inviting sleep environment. Toddlers can wreak havoc on the whole family’s sleep patterns by getting out of bed repeatedly during the night. If you make the child’s bedroom somewhere they want to be, and conducive to sleep (dark, quiet, cool but not cold), there’s a better chance your little one will stay in bed which means a better night’s sleep for everyone.
While getting your child to bed early can be a challenge for working parents, by following the tips above, you can make bedtime go more smoothly and hopefully everyone winds up more rested!
Alanna McGinn is a Certified Sleep Consultant and Founder of Good Night Sleep Site – a Global Pediatric and Family Sleep Team. She provides free child and family sleep support through her Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. She invites you to join her sleep community as she works towards Good Night Sleep Site’s mission of a healthier rested family unit. For more sleep tips please visit Good Night Sleep Site. Join our movement and #BringBackBedtime.