Each fall our family approaches the beginning of the school year with a combined sense of excitement and dread. Excitement because we will get back to the steady routine of the school year and dread that we have to adjust to that schedule after the lazy, hazy days of summer. At the beginning of the summer, I always toy with the idea of trying to keep everyone on the school-year schedule but the reality of travel, camp schedules, and all that extra daylight means that summer routines are different. The transition to a school-year routine isn’t just limited to school age kids, baby’s schedule needs to adjust to the fall routine as well. Forcing the whole family to wake up an hour or two earlier and do the same at bedtime is basically like forcing ourselves to be jet lagged without the fun of a trip. We’ve found that the need for everyone to get adjusted to the busy school routine starts with the youngest. Even if your baby might have years to go before their first day of kindergarten if baby doesn’t sleep, the rest of the family won’t either. With that in mind, I’ve assembled my best tips on getting the diaper-set adjusted to a solid bedtime routine so that they are ready for the back to school routine along with the rest of the family.
Establishing a great bedtime routine.
Babies and kids do their best when they have a great routine and know what to expect. A consistent bedtime routine will send a message to your baby’s body that a deep restorative night’s sleep is coming next. That, in turn, will leave them more resilient and better able to adapt to the changes and adjustments they’ll be facing during the school year. Our routine includes a bath, a diaper change into a nighttime diaper, on with the pj’s, soothing music, a bottle, hugs and a final kiss and then down for the night. No matter what is going on, we try to stick to that routine even if it is very compressed. In time, babies will know exactly what comes next, and they’ll drift off into dreamland settled and soothed.
Are you using the right diaper? As your baby sleeps for longer stretches at night, you will need a diaper that can keep them comfy and calm all through the night. I had never considered switching to a nighttime diaper until a babysitter suggested it. Once I discovered Huggies OverNites Diapers, I never looked back. They helped our little ones stay dry all night long. My struggle to move from five hours to seven or eight hours at a stretch resolved itself. Awesome! I had never given it much thought, but nighttime diaper needs are different because diapers are on longer and babies are moving differently while they are sleeping. Huggies OverNites Diapers not only have 12 hours of leakage protection but also have SnugFit waistbands which help the diaper stay in place all night no matter how baby twists and turns each night. I also like that they have a breathable outer cover that lets their tender skin breathe all night long.
Adjusting Your Routine
Already have a bedtime routine? Is it great? Stick with it! That said since you will be making adjustments for the school year now is your chance to tweak the routine so that it works for you and your little one. I established a great routine but at one point noticed it seemed endless. While borderline tolerable when we had loads of time, it became a lot less okay once we had to get up and get to nursery school by a certain time the next day. All I had to do was make a couple of small changes, and we were back on track.
Two Weeks before school: start getting everyone on the new schedule. Adjust bed times by 20 minutes a night every two nights. Start setting an alarm. Resist the urge to let everyone sleep late even if it makes mornings seem endless.
Don’t forget nap-time! You’ll need to adjust nap times for your littlest as well. Don’t just shift them in accordance with the earlier wake-up time, figure out how their daytime routine will change to accommodate getting older kids out the door, school pickup, and after-school activities. Make your adjustments accordingly.
Real Life Strategies & Solutions
Waking up earlier and going to bed earlier isn’t really what anyone wants to do at the end of summer vacation. Make a trade off, let the kids do something fun upon waking up. As long as they are awake, count it as a win.
Going to sleep earlier when it’s still very light outside always gets pushback from the older set. Stay strong. With the diaper-set, try and contain your bedtime routine to an area where you have blackout shades drawn. A dimly lit room provides the visual cue that it’s time for dreamland.
Take a look at anything else that might cause your little one irritation in the night. After one particularly sleepless spate, I realized the sleep sacks we were using had a label that rubbed against my son’s neck. Scissors took care of that. For my second the wipes we were using caused itchy dryness and made him fussy. Switching to Huggies Natural Care Wipes, which are fragrance, paraben and alcohol-free, was an easy solution.
Question how you’ve ordered things. I have a friend who does bath before dinner. That never worked for us but we did move the final diaper of the day up. Strategically changing the diaper before other soothing activities helped us avoid the crankiness that came with changing our kids into a new nighttime diaper after the lights dimmed, soothing music was on, and books were read. The switch to Huggies OverNites Diapers made this adjustment super easy since they offer up to 12 hours of protection, so baby stays dry, comfy, settled and soothed long after the last book is read.
Visit Huggies.com to learn more about the Huggies sounder sleep guarantee.
This post is sponsored by Huggies OverNites Diapers.
Huggies OverNites Diapers are designed for sleep and 25 percent more absorbent, so you can give them a hug that settles and soothes without worrying about nighttime leaks. Try Huggies OverNites Diapers at nighttime to experience a sounder sleep, guaranteed. Learn more at Huggies.com. #HugThemAllNite #adGuarantee Legal Language: Purch. by 11/5/17. Mail in by 11/30/17. Online access req. Limit 1 per HH. Restrictions apply. See huggies.com/mbg for details. US only.