During the holy month of Ramadan, Muslims across the world will be engaging in acts of worship, including fasting from sunrise to sunset. During Ramadan there are two main meals; one before sunrise (Suhoor or Sehri) and one after sunset (Iftar) plus evening prayers (Taraweeh) which are exclusive to the month of Ramadan.
The daily routines followed during Ramadan can mean changes to the routines our babies and toddlers follow, which can mean there are some challenges and conflicting timings compared to their normal daily routine.
We have some tips that we hope are helpful for your little one’s routine during this special month.
If your little one has a flexible routine or adapts easily to changes in timings, then you may not need to do too much, and find that they naturally adjust to temporary changes.
If your baby or toddler is more sensitive to changes in their routine, then you can make a judgement on whether an earlier or later bedtime would work best for them and your family.
- For younger babies who are taking three or more naps a day, it can work well to lengthen their last nap of the day to allow for a later bedtime. You can then shorten that nap again when you start to adjust back to your usual routine.
- For younger babies who are taking two naps, a later bedtime can be trickier if they can struggle to stay awake for a long time between the last nap and bedtime. For some babies, temporarily reintroducing a third nap can work well. For others, it may work well to break up your normal bedtime routine – getting them bathed, calm and dressed for a bed a little earlier, and then letting them stay up a little later with you during prayers knowing they are ready for bed soon after.
- Older babies and toddlers can be more flexible with their routine and able to adjust to a later bedtime more easily. Another approach could be to adjust the length of their lunchtime nap to move towards an earlier bedtime.
Older children may want to be part of Ramadan activities and join you for evening prayers – getting them dressed and ready for bed beforehand can make this easier. If your baby will be awake with you during prayers, then they can be entertained with their favourite quiet toys on hand, or you might want to put aside some toys just for this time so they feel special and more likely to be interested in them for a little longer.
Being prepared and organised with babies and young children is the norm, but during Ramadan some extra preparations and planning can be helpful. Prepping as much of your Sehri meal the night before or making sure you have easy to prepare nutritious supplies ready can make it easier to eat when you need to, while also feeding and prepping your children for the day ahead.
Changes can be tricky to navigate, but routines can always get back on track again. Enjoy this special time with your family and feel confident that you can support your children through any routine changes during and after Ramadan.