Get kids on a solid sleep schedule when daylight savings ends!
The leaves are changing color, and a chill is in the air. Fall has arrived, and with it comes the end of Daylight Savings Time. For some, this simply means changing the numbers on the clock. But for parents with small children, it can mean major disruption to sleep. We’ve put together our top tips for sleep and daylight savings time to keep nap time and bedtime on track during this period of transition. Read on to avoid a Fall Back fail.
Give Yourself a Morning Pass
Have you ever wished there was more time in a day to accomplish everything on your list? Today is your lucky day because you’ve got one extra hour! Ease into the time change by leaving your clocks alone on the first morning. Wake up according to your usual schedule and change the clocks before you begin the day.
Split the Nap Time Difference
Instead of adjusting your child’s nap schedule immediately, split the difference. Move the nap times by 30 minutes on the first day and add the remaining 30 minutes by the end of the third day. By changing nap times more gradually your little one’s body will have some time to adjust and ease into the transition.
Achieve Your Ideal Bedtime
Making a gradual adjustment to bedtime will keep your child from becoming overtired through this transition. If bedtime typically falls at 7:00 PM, put your child to bed at 6:30 PM for the first three days following the time change. Keep in mind that 6:30 feels like 7:30 to your child. On the fourth day return to a 7:00 PM bedtime. Your child’s body will adjust to this change in about a week.
If you’ve been wanting to push your kids’ bedtime earlier, seize the day! Your kids will be sleepier early in the evening for a few days. Use this chance to push their bedtime earlier if that works best for them and you.
Accomplish an Appropriate Wake Time
You can expect your baby to be up with the birds while she makes the transition to the new time. Since 6:00 AM is now what your baby perceives to be 7:00 AM, early wake ups are common. Encourage babies who are early risers to go back to sleep by waiting 10 minutes to get them up the first morning and add ten minutes each day as the week carries on. After a week your baby’s body will have made the adjustment to the new nap times and bedtime and begin rising at an appropriate hour.
Try the Clock Reading Challenge
Some kids just love to wake their parents up in the wee hours of the morning. Even if they’re no longer in the baby stage and they don’t really NEED us so early.
If this is your kids, try this strategy: use card stock to block off all the numbers on a digital clock except the hour. On one of the pieces of card stock, print a digital number that matches the hour during which you want your kids to wake up. Put the clock in your kids’ rooms, then let them know they can check the clock themselves to know if it’s the right time to wake up the rest of the family.
Alysa Dobson is a mom, wife and a Certified Child Sleep Consultant. As a former city girl, transplanted in the country, she enjoys the charms of life in rural Saskatchewan, Canada- from meals in the field in the summer to nights at the rink in the winter. As a mother to two former insomniacs, turned amazing sleepers, Alysa enjoys helping other families get the sleep they need.
More sleep articles:
- Better sleep for school success
- 5 Steps to a child sleep makeover
- Top 5 Free sleep hacks
- SPRING! Start of daylight savings tips