That dreaded one hour time change will soon be upon us. It can cause anxiety in many parents who have kiddos who have recently got into the groove with sleep, or have set schedules. Disrupting these can understandably cause worry. The good thing about changing clocks in the Fall, is that you have darkness on your side. The evenings and mornings are darker which helps with melatonin production in the evenings and can preserve sleep in the early hours.
My advice is to leave your clocks alone on Saturday night. Wake up as usual on Sunday morning, have your coffee and start your day.
For older children and Toddlers, the best and smoothest way to tackle this time change is to split the difference at bedtime. So if your child is currently going to bed at 7P.M, you would put them to bed at 6.30P.M (this will feel like 7.30 P.M to them). You will be stretching them awake for 30 minutes and they may be a little overtired once bedtime rolls around. It’s okay. Continue to keep up with your bedtime routines. It can take a week or so to adjust to the change. You would do the 6.30P.M bedtime for 3 nights and then push it to 7P.M.
If you do have a Toddler, and are using a Toddler clock for mornings, do remember to adjust their clocks, moving the wake up time 30 minutes forward. Not rushing in and getting them up to start their day immediately will help their bodies adjust.
Now if you have a baby who is on a predictable schedule and is napping consistently throughout the day, you can take the process a little slower. I suggest moving their naps and bedtime forward by 10 minutes everyday until you get to the desired bedtime on Sunday night. This gradual increase in wake up time will be gentle on them and avoid over tiredness. So if nap 1 is at 9.30 A.M, on Wednesday before the time change, nap 1 would be at 9.40A.M, on Thursday it would be at 9.50 and so forth. So by Sunday Nap 1 should be back to 9.30A.M.
Again it takes time for the body to adjust to the change.. Continue to remain consistent in your approach, give your little one time to settle in to sleep. Refrain from going in to offer help if you know that they can fall asleep independently.
About Seema, Founder of Sleep, Rest & Play, Ltd.
Hi there – I’m Seema Bhambri, a Certified Sleep Sense Consultant and founder of Sleep, Rest & Play, LTD. I was born and raised in London, England and in 2007, I moved to New York. I have two adorable children, Avani and Anaya. Parenthood is one of the most amazing and challenging roles I’ve taken on. My role as a mom is one of the reasons I became a sleep consultant. I want to show the importance of sleep for their little ones and parents. With good sleep habits, the entire family can be healthier, happier, and more energetic.
I’d like to offer you a FREE 15-minute call with me to discuss your child and learn how with my private consultations could help you and your little one. You can also call me directly at (516) 506-0456 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.