Autumn Special: Sleeping Routine and Nutrition Tips for Little Ones

As we ease into September, change is in the air. With shorter days, darker mornings (and lots more snuggly nights in), it’s a great time to focus on getting little ones into a good sleep routine and ensuring they get all the right nutrients for a healthy season. Our home renovation expert and Mum of two Emily Smythe talks to us about bedtime routines, nutritious snacks and simple ways to encourage your little heroes to be eco-friendly.

Emily Smythe

1) As a mum of two under three (rockstar) how important do you feel good nutrition and sleep are for little ones’ well-being?

Good nutrition and sleep are crucial for all of us, especially children. If they don’t get enough good quality sleep, not only can they be more irritable, it can affect their immune systems – particularly at this time of year. I always ensure Ella and Bradley get plenty of sleep; having bedding they love can help set up a good relationship with bedtime. They love getting snuggled into their Panda London duvet and pillows.

Panda Kids Cloud Duvet and Pillow

2) How do you incorporate a healthy diet into their everyday routine?

Every day is different though I try my best to be prepared. I do make sure as a family we have a balanced diet. I ensure the children have enough protein, fruit, vegetables, carbohydrates and fats. To keep their energy levels up I make sure I have lots of healthy snacks prepped throughout the day – they love simple things like breadsticks and hummus, fruit, frozen yoghurt bites and rice cakes. If we are out and about they are easy to pop in my carry bag so when they say “I’m hungry”, I’m ready.

3) Do you feel having the right nutrition can help them sleep better?

Absolutely! I find when they do have a sugary treat whether it’s biscuits, chocolate or ice cream, they are very hyper(active) for a long time. I wouldn’t ever give them these before bed because it would make it very hard to get them to settle, so I plan any treats for earlier on in the day. Setting meal times and keeping them consistent really helps to balance their energy levels throughout the day and get them into a good routine.

4) What are the best bedtime snacks?

We don’t really have bedtime snacks, but both children still love a beaker of full fat milk. This doesn’t interrupt their routines and can help make them feel sleepy before I settle them into bed.

5) What do you think a good bedtime/morning routine looks like?

I think it’s key to keep it consistent. For us, we have dinner, and then I let them enjoy some TV time all together, which we all look forward to. Then we head upstairs and have bathtime, they love getting cosy in their Panda hooded towels after making a splash, which helps keep bath time fun and cosy. Then we play, read, and snuggle up in bed. Ella sometimes has her Yoto Story Player on, too, which she loves.

In the morning I think it’s important that children wake up naturally when they’re ready, as this shows they’ve had enough sleep. When they are awake we head downstairs for a play, have a good breakfast, get dressed and ready for our day. Bradley has been known to wake up and wake us up at 5am – on those mornings we watch a little bit of TV until my brain is ready to function.

6) Children can be very sensitive when it comes to sleep. What do you look for when it comes to kids’ bedding?

I think with their skin being so sensitive, it’s important to ensure our children have hypoallergenic bedding that feels soft and gentle – it really helps them stay comfortable throughout the night. Also that it’s breathable and thermoregulating, to keep them at just the right temperature. That’s one of the reasons I love bamboo bedding. Also I make sure I do not use any harmful chemicals when I wash their bedding.

7) How important is sustainability to you when choosing products for your little ones?

Very important. We want to have good quality products that stand the test of time, whilst being kind for the environment. We always look for brands that do their bit when it comes to taking care of our planet; this makes shopping for quality products something you can feel good about.

8) What are some of the ways we can encourage little ones to be eco-friendly from a young age?

There are simple things you can do that make it fun and rewarding. Ella is already learning about recycling which I am very proud of. We also discuss things that are good for the planet and what isn’t as good; it’s amazing how quickly they learn (and grow).

Thanks, Emily, it certainly is – it must be all that sleep and those healthy snacks!

Although all children are wonderfully different, it’s clear that setting them up with a good sleeping routine and a balanced diet can work wonders. By choosing good quality bedding, watching their sugar intake and keeping bedtime consistent you can set your little heroes up for an Autumn of fun, learning and of course… plenty of snuggles.

Have a healthy and cosy season.