Sleep is a crucial time for developing your child's mental and physical health. Using a combination of age-appropriate routines and sleep hygiene, children can get the rest they need for healthy growth and development. Waking up and getting ready for the day can be challenging for some children. Pediatric occupational therapists with experience practicing healthy and efficient morning routines have several recommendations:
-Have a consistent wake-up time. Children who wake up approximately the same time each morning are more likely to nap at expected times and sleep at a regular bedtime.
-Sleep can be affected by room temperature and lighting. Occupational therapists can assess factors in a child's environment that may be negatively impacting their sleep.
-Starting the day with a positive attitude can help make children happier when they wake up.
-Minimize noises in their environments
-Promote participation and independence in children by engaging them in morning routines, such as dressing themselves.
-Make morning routines fun and enjoyable for children so that they want to be engaged in the entire process. Consider playing joyful music or singing a song during self-care activities like when brushing teeth.
Reference: Avery, Nicole. Planning with Kids: A Guide to Organising the Chaos to Make More Time for Parenting. John Wiley & Sons, 2011.
Reference: Establishing Morning Routines for Children. American Occupational Therapy Association. https://www.aota.org/About-Occupational-Therapy/Patients-Clients/ChildrenAndYouth/Morning-Routines.aspx. Accessed 6 Jan. 2021.