The Importance of Maintaining Sleep Routines for Babies and Toddlers Over the Summer

Summer brings longer days, warmer weather, and fun activities. For many families, this means vacations, late-night barbecues, and spontaneous trips to the park. While these activities are great for family bonding and creating lasting memories, they can disrupt your child’s sleep routine. Maintaining a consistent sleep schedule during the summer months is crucial for your baby’s or toddler’s health and well-being. Let’s explore why this is so important and how you can balance summer fun with healthy sleep habits.

Baby and Toddler Sleep Routines for the summer months

Why Sleep Routines Matter:

  • Consistent Sleep Patterns: Babies and toddlers thrive on routine. Consistent sleep patterns help regulate their internal body clock, making it easier for them to fall asleep and wake up at regular times. This predictability is comforting and helps them feel secure.
  • Healthy Development: Adequate sleep is essential for your child’s physical, emotional, and cognitive development. Growth hormones are primarily secreted during deep sleep, and good sleep supports brain development, immunity, learning, and memory.
  • Behavior and Mood: Well-rested children are generally happier and better behaved. They have more patience, better mood regulation, and fewer meltdowns. In contrast, sleep-deprived children can be irritable, hyperactive, and struggle with emotional control.

Challenges During Summer

Summer can pose several challenges to maintaining a sleep routine:

  • Longer Daylight Hours: Extended daylight can make it difficult for children to understand that it’s bedtime, leading to resistance and later bedtimes. Ensure your child’s room is as dark as possible. Blackout blinds and curtains help to keep the room conducive to sleep.
  • Social Activities: Family gatherings, vacations, and special events often occur later in the day, disrupting regular sleep schedules. If possible, plan exciting events earlier in the day.
  • Travel: Changes in environment, time zones, and sleeping arrangements can make it challenging for children to settle into sleep.

Tips for Maintaining Sleep Routines

  • Keep a Consistent Bedtime: Try to maintain a regular bedtime, even on weekends and during vacations. A consistent bedtime helps regulate your child’s sleep-wake cycle.
  • Create/Maintain a Calming Bedtime Routine: A calming pre-sleep routine, such as a bath, diaper change, pyjamas, reading a story and/or songs. This routine signals to your child that it’s time to wind down and prepare for sleep.
  • Use Blackout Curtains: Longer daylight hours can make it hard for your child to fall asleep. Blackout curtains can help create a dark, sleep-friendly environment, signaling to your child that it’s nighttime.
  • Limit Evening Activities: Try to schedule stimulating activities earlier in the day. Opt for quieter, calming activities in the evening to help your child wind down.
  • Be Flexible but Firm: While it’s okay to be flexible occasionally, try to return to your child’s regular sleep schedule as soon as possible. Consistency is key to maintaining healthy sleep patterns.
  • Prepare for Travel: If you’re traveling, try to maintain your child’s sleep routine as much as possible. Bring familiar items from home, such as their favorite blanket or stuffed animal, pack and play, sound machine, portable blackout curtains, etc. to help them feel secure. If traveling across time zones, gradually adjust their schedule a few days before you leave.
  • Monitor Temperature: Ensure your child’s sleeping environment is cool and comfortable. Summer heat can disrupt sleep, so consider using fans or air conditioning to maintain a comfortable room temperature.

While summer is a time for fun and relaxation, maintaining your baby’s or toddler’s sleep routine is essential for their health and happiness. By prioritizing a consistent sleep schedule and making small adjustments to accommodate summer activities, you can ensure your little one gets the rest they need. Remember, a well-rested child is a happy child, ready to enjoy all the joys that summer has to offer.

If you need further guidance on establishing or maintaining sleep routines, don’t hesitate to reach out to one of our sleep consultants from our sleep team, Alana Metallo or Sasha Rennick-Purcell. We’re here to support you and your family in achieving restful, restorative sleep.

Classes & Workshops

Learn, feel better, join our community

Pregnant couple looking at crib

Sleep is a family affair

we all need sleep to function at our best

Illustration of two adults and a child playing in garden
Alana Metallo | Sleep Consultant | Sleep Support | Oona Wellness Group Toronto Newmarket

Alana Metallo (she/her)Sleep Consultant

Alana’s passion for sleep began months after her first daughter was born. Alana’s mental health was suffering from sleep deprivation – she was feeling frustrated after trying “all of the things” to get her baby girl to sleep, and as a first-time mother, she felt discouraged about not being able to get her child to...

Learn more

Stay in the loop

Subscribe to our newsletter

"*" indicates required fields

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
Illustration of parent cradling baby in baby carrier

Direct insurance billing

Oona works with insurance companies to do online billing for treatments, whenever possible. Simply ask if your insurance company is compliant when you book your appointment.

Start your journey with Oona

Book your appointment now

Illustration of plant in planter

Would you like to donate to The Wellness Fund?