Daylight Savings Ends (Fall)
Once again, it’s almost time for the dreaded time change. Remember to fall back!
This can be a tough time for parents of young children because the adjustment takes time.
If you’ve been keeping to a consistent bedtime and wake up schedule, great job! But it’s going to cause a little trouble for you for a week or so.
Fortunately, there are some things you can do to make the transition go a little smoother. I know most people say to change the clocks before you go to bed, but I’d hold off and do it after breakfast on Sunday. It will feel a little better, like you didn’t really lose that hour of sleep.
The easiest way to help your child transition is to split the difference between old and new. Here’s how it works:
School Age Children– If your child doesn’t nap and goes to bed at 7pm, put him to bed at 6:30pm on Sunday night (the first night). Continue for 3 nights, then on the 4th night, but him to bed at 7pm (or his normal bedtime).
Toddlers- If you’ve got a toddler, put her down for her nap 30 minutes earlier than normal on the first day. If she still takes more than one nap, move each nap up 30 minutes. Can you guess what to do at bedtime? That’s right! Move it 30 minutes earlier! Continue with the earlier naps and bedtime for 3 days. On the 4th night, shift bedtime to its normal time. On the 5th day, shift the naps to their normal time.
Infants- If you’re baby has predictable bedtime and naps, congratulations! You’re doing a great job. To adapt to the time change, make 15 minute adjustments each day. So if he goes to bed at 7pm, put him to bed at 6:15pm on Sunday, then 6:30pm on Monday and so on. Do the same thing for naps.
If you’re baby does not have a predictable sleep schedule, that’s ok. This might actually be a little easier on you. Just keep using her awake time window as your guide.
This time change is a little easier because there are more hours of darkness, so it’s dark when they go to sleep. If the adjustment is a little tough, it’s ok. If he wakes up too early, just take him back to his room and explain that it’s not time to get up yet. If she’s in a crib, keep her there until it’s time to wake up so that she learns that she needs to stay in bed until it’s time to get up.
Note for Toddlers/School-aged children: If your child relies on a clock to know when it’s time to wake up, set the clock ahead by half an hour (so it reads 7am at 6:30am by the old schedule) This will allow him to adjust to the new time without having to stay in bed for an hour waiting until the clock says it’s time to get up. It’ll likely take about a week to adjust.
It may take a little longer to fall asleep, this is normal. It can take about a week to completely adjust. Be patient! Stick to your routine and your child will get back to sleeping normally!
If you are still struggling to get your babies and toddlers to sleep through the night, please don’t hesitate to contact me! You can schedule your free 15-minute assessment and we’ll see how I can help.