THE MORNING ROUTINE is sometimes the most dreaded part of the day. Parents have to get themselves and the kids
up, dressed, fed, prepared for the day, and out the door in a timely fashion. How can you stay on schedule while supporting your children and helping them become more independent?
The following tips are from pediatric occupational therapy practitioners who have experience in establishing healthy and
efficient morning routines.
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Sleep and Preschoolers (3-5 years)
Preschoolers typically sleep 11-13 hours each night and most do not nap after five years of age. As with toddlers, difficulty falling asleep and waking up during the night are common. With further development of imagination, preschoolers commonly experience nighttime fears and nightmares. In addition, sleepwalking and sleep terrors peak during preschool years.
Sleep Tips for Preschoolers
- Maintain a regular and consistent sleep schedule.
- Have a relaxing bedtime routine that ends in the room where the child sleeps.
- Child should sleep in the same sleeping environment every night, in a room that is cool, quiet and dark – and without a TV.
Sleep and School-aged Children (6-13 years)
Children aged six to 13 need 9-11 hours of sleep. At the same time, there is an increasing demand on their time from school (e.g., homework), sports and other extracurricular and social activities. In addition, school-aged children become more interested in TV, computers, the media and Internet as well as caffeine products – all of which can lead to difficulty falling asleep, nightmares and disruptions to their sleep. In particular, watching TV close to bedtime has been associated with bedtime resistance, difficulty falling asleep, anxiety around sleep and sleeping fewer hours.
Sleep Tips for School-aged Children
- Teach school-aged children about healthy sleep habits.
- Continue to emphasize need for regular and consistent sleep schedule and bedtime routine.
- Make child's bedroom conducive to sleep – dark, cool and quiet.
- Keep TV and computers out of the bedroom.
- Avoid caffeine.
8:15 am - 4:15 pm
9:00 am (First Bell)
9:10 am (Tardy Bell)
3:40 pm (End of Day)
12:40 pm (End of Day)
11:30 am (First Bell)
11:40 am (Tardy Bell)
3:40 pm (End of Day)