Starting School and Sleep


Starting school or going up a school year is a mega milestone and it’s a very exciting yet emotional time for you and your child.  

The average school day is pretty full on and busy. Your child is constantly stimulated and engaged plus they’re learning new boundaries which can be exhausting.

These changes along with mixed emotions can understandably mean a very over tired child once home which naturally can impact their sleep.

Here's my top sleep suggestions when starting school:

1. Snacks for sleep

In all the excitement and changes your child may not eat and drink enough throughout the day and they’re very likely to come out of class starving. Taking plenty of healthy snacks with you will help refuel and energise them keeping them going to dinner.

Dinner may also start to become a bit of a battle and if it does bringing it slightly earlier to give them a little time can really help them to focus on their food.

2. Preparation for separation 

It may be the first time (or first in a long time!) that your child spends a long period away from you meaning when they come home they want to stick to you like glue! Having some present time when they’re back especially in the first few weeks where you are totally focused and present with them can make school separation go smoothly for everyone.

3. Bedtime routine

Sticking to your usual bedtime routine and having some extra wind down in your routine can really help when it comes to sleep separation.

Starting school can be an exhausting time because:

  • Some children they give up their lunchtime nap for the first time
  • School days are full on and your child is likely to be constantly on the go
  • When we do something new our brains have to work double time until its familiar
  • It's natural that your child may be school shattered and need a slightly earlier bedtime, especially in those first few weeks while they adjust to school life.

Kerry Secker is a paediatric sleep consultant and the founder of the Care It Out sleep approach. She is on a mission to share the care with parents that you don’t HAVE to sleep train and that you CAN improve your whole family’s sleep with an approach that is sensible, logical AND caring.

If you are a sleep seeker, experiencing the bed dread or have a night time sleep stealer Kerry can support you to improve your child’s sleep the caring way. There is always a biological reason and sleep science behind bedtime behaviour and always a caring way forward.

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Kelly hutsbySchool, Sleep