On holidays, you as a parent are more likely to let the children go to bed a little later – just for once. It’s fun once in a while and they can sleep in the next day. But can it damage their sleep rhythm? We present it to children’s sleep coach Ewelina de Groot.
“The first thing I think of is, why not?” says children’s sleep trainer Ewelina de Groot, owner of Finally Sleeps. And the second: look at your child. You have children who can go to bed an hour or two later and have no problems the next day. And there are children who can not cope with the extra incentives and which it is impossible to sail with the next day. It is also good to consider that children in the Netherlands go to bed quite early compared to their peers in other countries. ”
In addition, the normal sleep rhythm of your child is crucial. If your child still wakes up once or twice a night, then according to De Groot it is not ideal to make the night even shorter. But if you usually sleep well, then you may be a little looser with bedtime. “Although many parents have the vain hope that they will sleep longer in the morning if the children go to bed later, in practice this is often not the case. The biological clock is very strong, especially in the summer, when it is bright earlier in the morning and makes sure that your child is awake at the usual time. ”
The correct bedtime varies from child to child. Therefore, it can be quite difficult to find the moment that suits your child. That’s why Ouders van Nu wrote this practical guide, which explains exactly how children’s sleep times work and change.
Compensates for sleep
Is the sleep rhythm disturbed immediately after going to bed one or two nights later? “It also depends on your child,” says the sleep coach, “but in principle not. If your child goes to bed three or four nights later, or does not go to bed an hour, but in fact a few hours later, you will be able to feel it a little better.You can see that children have not had enough opportunity to process their day and their stimuli.Normally they do it in their sleep but now they can express it in other ways during the day.They may then be more tired or more annoyed. ”
Most importantly, children know that later bedtimes are an exception
You can not catch up on sleep, says the sleep coach, but you can compensate for that. “Especially by putting your kids to bed a little earlier the following night.” How do you ensure that your child ‘just’ goes to bed early on the Monday after the holiday, just before a new school day? “The most important thing is to make your children aware that exceptions are made during the holidays, and it is special that they go to bed later. After the holidays, you get back to your old rhythm. It is good to involve your child in this so that it is not obvious and they understand that it remains an extraordinary situation. Discuss this with your child and make appointments about this. That way, you prevent them from resisting on Monday night. ”
According to De Groot, going outside with your kids is something you can do even more to ‘reset’ your sleep rhythm. “The morning in the evening, when your child goes to bed on time, in this case Easter day, you go outside immediately in the morning. Make sure there is enough daylight, because it literally turns on your child’s biological clock. If you also provide enough sun or daylight during the day, your child will fall asleep easier, better and faster that night. ”
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