Kids and Sleep Schedules: Doctors Say Follow the 4 B's for Bedtime

updated: August 2019

I had the honor of hosting WTVD Anchor/Reporter Julie Wilson and WTVD photographer, Shawn, in my home to talk about getting kids back into the groove on their sleep schedules as school begins.

Working parents outside the home have probably stayed relatively consistent in their schedules, but I am not good at keeping a consistent sleep schedule during the summer months.

Sleep Schedules are Important for School. Follow these Simple Tips for Bedtime Routines #sleep #Kids #sleephabits #sleeproutine #c2cgroup

We are a mess in this family. We've stayed up way too late and slept way too late in the morning.

My kids have never been easy with bedtimes except for when they were babies. That was easy peasy. We still struggle with nine-year-old.

 I would classify them both as considerable pains in our behinds. Getting my kids to bed now is a lot of work. My son has nighttime rituals that would make any sane person crazy. His covers have to be tucked in just right. The other won't go to sleep alone. Just as you've rubbed her back for the one billionth stroke, you slowly try to get out of her bed. Suddenly, you feel her feet wrap around you like an anaconda.  Immediately you hear, "I'm not asleep yet. Don't leave!"

What happened to us? We're two college-educated people. Why can't we put our children to be with success like other families seem to do?

We look at bedtime as our version of hell. It's something I dread nightly. Because even when we think they are snug as a bug in their beds, at least one usually makes a surprise appearance later in the evening.

Fill in the blank with whatever works best.
"The light is shining in my window."
"I have a headache."
"I feel itchy."
"My covers are not right."
"I'm hot."
"I  just can't go to sleep."

Kids can wear you down. I think kids bedtimes sometimes get pushed back because if you start at 7 pm luck as it that you still aren't done with them two hours later. I think I'm guilty of starting the process then at night in hopes the ritual will be shorter.

It never is better.

As I told Julie in our interview that did not make the segment, I think it will all work itself out once school starts. The first week or two will be rough, but after a few mornings of getting up early and having full days, then our beds will look very good at night. I saw this a lot with my youngest during swim team season. She was basically putting herself to bed and doing it within minutes.

But, UNC Children's Hospital Pediatrician, Dr. Michael Steiner's advice is golden when he says the four B's allow for consistency:


Sleep Schedules are important for Back to School; Follow these 4 Easy Tips from Pediatricians for the Perfect Bedtime Routine for Children.

Teens need about nine to eleven hours of sleep. Elementary school children need ten to twelve hours. He also suggested moving your routine back 30 minutes a night to get used to change.
It's a little late for us. School is on Monday.

Lights out for all of us need to be 9 pm at the latest on school nights.  If any of my friends see my behind on social media after 9 pm, tell me to "Go to BED!"

I'm happy to report that my 13-year-old son is better at his sleep routine now. So, eventually, it will get easier at night on parents. My dog, Andy, has no problem going to bed at all.

Disclosure: My thanks to Louisiana Eye and Laser for being a HinesSightBlog Sponsor.  If you are looking for a Monroe, Louisiana eye doctor, this office is now taking appointments. My sponsors keep me at my desk writing editorial content and OutaboutNC.

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