When to start preparing a child for school: experts named the exact date

By Jurassic JennApr 5, 2024 16:31 PMChildren
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When to start preparing a child for school
When to start preparing a child for school. Source: tribuneonlineng.com

Vacation sleep patterns are usually quite light: children go to bed late and wake up whenever they want. However, the school year is just around the corner and parents should think about switching their child to a more appropriate sleep schedule.

The question is how and when is the best time to do this. SSPDaily turned to Dr. Hana Patel, a sleep expert at Time4Sleep. Here is what the expert advised.

She believes that it is necessary to start accustoming a child to "school sleep" at least three weeks before the start of school, that is, approximately at the beginning of the second decade of August.

"You need to make small changes to your child's sleeping schedule three weeks before September 1."

These changes include:

  • setting a regular bedtime;
  • creating a daily routine for the night and morning;
  • discussing the child's activities within this routine.

The sleep specialist states, "It has been clinically proven that adherence to a sleep schedule not only helps children fall asleep quickly but also improves the quality of sleep in general."

How long should a child sleep?

Dr. Patel said, "Children are particularly sensitive to the quantity and quality of sleep, which affects their behavior and emotions. With this in mind, we always recommend aiming for a certain number of hours depending on age."

Here are the NHS recommendations for "childhood" sleep times:

  • 6 to 12 years old - 9-12 hours;
  • 13 to 18 years old - 8-10 hours;

Preparation for sleep should begin 30 minutes before falling asleep

Dr. Patel believes that the daily routine in this regard should be as simple as possible and consist of certain actions. For example, a warm bath or reading a fairy tale to a child. Both of these, the expert says, will help the child calm down.

And the key to forming a stable habit, she says, is the regularity of the routine.

"If you follow a certain routine every night, it will give your child time to calm down before bedtime and help them realize the benefits of this habit."

In addition, Dr. Patel advises:

  • Avoid exposure to blue light and limit the use of tablets and phones a few hours before bedtime.
  • Teach your child the technique of falling asleep by themselves.
  • Install the right lighting in the nursery.
  • Choose the right music for the child to wake up.

Regarding the latter, she said, "Try waking up children with music. Let the child wake up naturally before starting the morning routine: brushing teeth, getting dressed, and having breakfast. It is important that these actions take place at the same time every day so that a stable habit is developed."

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