60% of parents lose sleep over the back-to-school season—here are 5 ways to avoid that

4. Learn about the school's safety and emergency procedures.

60% of parents lose sleep over the back-to-school season—here are 5 ways to avoid that

This was an unpleasant revelation I had just before my son entered Pre-K: August is now when I get to relive all of the back-to-school anxiety I had as a kid, compounded by already prevalent mom anxiety. Wow, that's fun! And, according to a new survey, this worried feeling is something that most parents feel at summer's end.

A survey by OnePoll, reported in the New York Post, found that 60% of parents are so stressed about back-to-school season they lose sleep. Of the 2,000 parents of kids ages 5-18, 57% said it is the most stressful time of the year for them.


The top worries of most parents are: Whether their child will have good teachers (50%), whether their child eats healthy foods at school (44%), the cost of buying school supplies (42%), their child's safety at school (40%), and whether their child will make friends at school (40%).

Before worry, and worrying about the worry, gets you down, here are a few ways to combat each of the above back-to-school concerns before the season hits:

1. Wait and see about those teachers.

At most schools, you can't do a whole lot about which teachers your kid gets. But the good news is that whatever rumors you may hear from other parents about which teachers are too strict and which ones don't care about education, that may not necessarily be the case with your child.

Some kids really bond with teachers that other kids don't like. Give the teachers the benefit of the doubt at first, and then ask your child specific questions about their day. Even with "bad" teachers, you have the opportunity to help your kid learn how to deal with different personalities. If things are really not working a few weeks into the school year, you can escalate matters with parent-teacher meetings and the school's administration. There's no sense stressing about this one before a problem arises, though.

2. Talk about good nutrition together, and make sure they eat well at home.

If you're not packing a lunch for your kid every day—and even if you are—you're going to have to trust them about what they eat. Make sure they understand why certain foods are better than others, and try to make sure they get the stuff they really need at breakfast and dinner.

3. Do your back-to-school shopping gradually.

You know the basics of what your child will need before the teachers hand out those lists—pencils, pens, notebooks, backpacks—so you can pick them up bit by bit throughout the summer when there are good sales (check if your state has a sales-tax-free holiday!). You can also turn back-to-school shopping into a fun ritual you have as a family to get excited for the school year by selecting just a couple of items you'll buy together—a character lunchbox, a first-day-of school shirt, new hair accessories. Then save the rest for buying online, at thrift stores, or even after the school year starts when discounts might be even bigger.

4. Learn about the school's safety and emergency procedures.

There is a lot you can't control in this area, but you can be informed. The National Association of Elementary School Principals recommended to that parents review alternate travel routes to and from school, familiarize themselves with security measures, and talk to kids about what to do when they don't feel safe (including telling a teacher and knowing how to reach you at home).

5. Model good social skills, but don't force them.

Let those little sponges see how you talk to friends and neighbors, because they'll mirror you eventually. Enrolling them in after-school and weekend activities may also help them gain confidence when meeting new people, but only if they enjoy what they're doing. Also, remember that your kid might have different social needs than you do, so don't stress if they seem happier with one close friend than with a big group (or the other way around).

Now, if anyone can help me stop having those dreams where I show up late to my high school in my underwear having not studied for a chemistry test, please let me know.

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These are the best bath time products you can get for under $20

These budget-friendly products really make a splash.

With babies and toddlers, bath time is about so much more than washing off: It's an opportunity for fun, sensory play and sweet bonding moments—with the added benefit of a cuddly, clean baby afterward.

Because bathing your baby is part business, part playtime, you're going to want products that can help with both of those activities. After countless bath times, here are the products that our editors think really make a splash. (Better yet, each item is less than $20!)

Comforts Bath Wash & Shampoo

Comforts Baby Wash & Shampoo

Made with oat extract, this bath wash and shampoo combo is designed to leave delicate skin cleansed and nourished. You and your baby will both appreciate the tear-free formula—so you can really focus on the bath time fun.

Munckin Soft Spot Bath Mat

Munchkin slip mat

When your little one is splish-splashing in the bath, help keep them from also sliding around with a soft, anti-slip bath mat. With strong suction cups to keep it in place and extra cushion to make bath time even more comfortable for your little one, this is an essential in our books.

Comforts Baby Lotion

Comforts baby lotion

For most of us, the bath time ritual continues when your baby is out of the tub when you want to moisturize their freshly cleaned skin. We look for lotions that are hypoallergenic, nourishing and designed to protect their skin.

The First Years Stack Up Cups

First year stack cups

When it comes to bath toys, nothing beats the classic set of stackable cups: Sort them by size, practice pouring water, pile them high—your little one will have fun with these every single bath time.

Comforts Baby Oil

Comforts baby oil

For dry skin that needs a little extra TLC, our team loves Comforts' fast-absorbing baby oil aloe vera and vitamin E. Pro tip: When applied right after drying off your baby, the absorption is even more effective.

KidCo Bath Toy Organizer

KidCo Bath Organizer

Between bathing supplies, wash rags, toys and more, the tub sure can get crowded in a hurry. We like that this organizer gives your little one space to play and bathe while still keeping everything you need within reach.

Another great tip? Shopping the Comforts line on to find premium baby products for a fraction of competitors' prices—and follow along on social media to see product releases and news at @comfortsforbaby.

This article was sponsored by The Kroger Co. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.

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