This Sunday, clocks across the U.S. will spring forward and cost us an hour of sleep. Daylight Saving Time is also the start of Sleep Awareness Week — seven days devoted to getting better Zzz’s. Sleep is essential for health at all ages, but it’s especially important for kids.
While adults should get 7 to 9 hours per night, sleep experts recommend more for children. Preschoolers should clock 10 to 13 hours, according to the Sleep Foundation, and elementary-aged kids need 9 to 11 hours of slumber daily. Not only do kids need more sleep, but they need a sleep routine to help set the foundation for future sound slumbers.
Although a consistent sleep schedule might seem like a distant dream for busy parents, the Four Bs can help your kid sleep better — not just during Sleep Awareness Week, but all year long. (Hint: Rather than counting sheep, turn to Miko for help!)
The Four Bs for better kid sleep
Sleep is natural, but it doesn’t always come naturally. To help elementary-aged kids get into a better sleep groove, many experts recommend the Four Bs. Although seemingly simple, this set of four pre-sleep habits can help your child understand when it’s time for bed — and sleep more soundly once that time comes.
- Bathing: Research shows that a warm bath can help us fall asleep faster — that includes energetic kids. An evening bath warms our body temperature, which makes us sleepier, and it’s also a soothing pre-bed ritual that will help your kid understand when it’s time to wind down.
- Brushing: This one is pretty self-explanatory. Having your child brush their teeth before bedtime isn’t just good hygiene; it’s another element of a consistent pre-sleep routine.
- Books: After bath and brushing, read to (or with) your child. Bedtime stories can foster the bond between you and your child, but the benefits don’t stop there. This verbal interaction is shown to boost kids’ development, increase their vocabulary and, as an added bonus, make them drift off to sleep easier.
Bed: Tuck your child into bed safely and comfortably. Pay attention to their bedroom’s sleep environment, adjusting lighting and minimizing noise to help them sleep more soundly.
Although every child sleeps differently, using these four steps can help you find the right bedtime routine for you and your child.
Get kids ready for sleep with Miko
Looking for more ways to help your child sleep more soundly? Miko is packed with dozens of bedtime stories and night-time affirmations to soothe your child at night.
You can try the Kidlo Stories app, which features a collection of animated bedtime tales that are narrated aloud in a calming voice. Choose from “Cindy’s Dream,” “Bun’s Fun Day” and more.
To help your child learn about mindfulness, you can explore the Dreamy Kid app. Its bedtime affirmations are designed to put kids at ease, helping them drift softly to sleep. Research shows that mindfulness is especially effective at easing sleep disturbances. So if your child typically has trouble sleeping, this might be a great addition to their pre-bed routine.
For little ones, you can also try soothing music. Just say “Hello Miko” and ask your robot friend to play a lullaby. (And here’s an interesting fact: Researchers have found that lullabies help babies relax, no matter the language of their lyrics!)
From bedtime stories to lullabies, Miko is filled with experiences that help kids calm down and sleep soundly. To help your little one adjust to Daylight Saving Time on Sunday, try adjusting their bedtime by 15-20 minutes nightly over the next few days. This can make the spring forward go more smoothly for your child — and for you!