Maintaining a bedtime routine for older siblings when a newborn arrives
By: Jackie Kepler is a MattressReviews.net sleep professional
Change can be scary, especially for kids who have never experienced having a new sibling. Those changes might include getting a new mattress for some of the older kids since your new baby will need one of their own, or building in some time for each of your kids.
By talking to your kids about the changes before they happen, you’ll be able to make the transition a lot easier on everyone involved.
Here are some other ways to rebuild your routine for yourself and your kids.
First: Keep the Schedule Similar
The easiest way to make sure that everyone follows the bedtime routine you’ve set up is to stick to the routine you had before the new baby was born. However, you’ll need to make some changes to include your new baby. Make sure to leave yourself time to use the restroom and breathe while you’re getting them ready.
By keeping things similar to the routine before the baby came, you will help them to deal with the other changes in their lives. Consistency is incredibly important for their mental well-being as well as their sleep schedules.
Secomd: Make Time for Each Kid On their Own
Sometimes kids can struggle with still feeling special when their parents are focused on a new baby. One way that you can make sure that each of your kids still feels special at bedtime is to spend time with all of them one on one.
If you have a lot of kids getting ready for bed at the same time, you may need to split this up with your spouse or partner, but make sure that you take each kid’s personality into account when figuring out what to add to the routine for each of them.
Some Ideas To Add
- Read to your kids - a different book per kid!
- Listen to your child’s favorite music with them in headphones.
- Tidy their toys together.
- Do yoga together.
Some Activities to Avoid:
- Strenuous activity like exercise
- Electronics like television, tablets or video games
- Snacks for older kids
Third: Keep It Relaxing and Simple
Our kids are growing up in an increasingly over-scheduled era. with that in mind, make sure that your children have time to relax before bed. This will help you to feel more relaxed on your own and make it easier for you to deal with any changes to the routine that might come up.
Keeping their routines simple will also make it easier for you to keep up with them over time, even when they aren’t at home.
If you find that your children are struggling or avoiding sleep once their new sibling arrives, you might want to talk to your doctor to see if there’s a medical reason for it. You should also try talking to your kids to see why they think they are having problems sleeping. Kids are smarter than we think they are and they’re more self-aware than they seem.
Jackie Kepler is a MattressReviews.net sleep professional. She enjoys sleeping with cats, but sleeps on a king size bed because she needs her space, too.