We have all noticed that it has been getting darker earlier, which means that the seasons are changing and the days are getting shorter. This weekend, we will be changing the clocks back an hour for daylight saving time. And we will all be gaining a precious hour of sleep. If your kids are young, while you are looking forward to gaining an hour of sleep, you are likely dreading this change because we all know that even the smallest change can throw off your child’s entire sleep routine. A change in their sleep routine likely means a change in yours, and that is never good (unless by some miracle they are sleeping in). We have some tips and tricks to get you through the time change this fall.
Tip #1: Start early
Give yourself and your child time to adjust to the change. Don’t pretend the time change won’t affect your little one’s sleep. Start preparing by putting your child to bed 15-minutes later each night for a couple of nights before the time change. If your child goes to sleep at 7:30, start by putting them to bed at 7:45 and then 8:00 and so on. If your child needs two nights per 15-minute change, then ease into it over the course of a week. Don’t forget to change the timing of the naps while you transition, if you’re lucky enough to still have a napper!
Tip #2: Routines are key
If you don’t know by now, I am all about a bedtime routine. While you start to transition make sure to keep your bed time routine consistent. We all slip a little on the bedtime routine from time to time, but this not the weekend to do it! Start with a warm bath, read a book, have a snuggle and then off to sleep.
Tip #3: Don’t forget the mornings
You might be so focused on getting your child to bed at night, that you may not have given thought to the morning! Try and keep your mornings consistent as well. Encourage you child to stay and play in their room, or leave your little ones in the crib for a bit if they wake up early. If you use a clock that communicates to your child that it is the night time or the morning, don’t forget to the change the time on the clock.
Tip #4: Take care of you!
We have a way of ignoring the clock and telling ourselves it’s still the old time! Instead of deluding yourself, pay attention to the clock and go to bed at a reasonable time. You never know when the little ones will start calling for you. So you better be well rested!
Tip #5: No plan is perfect
Remember: We are all human! This means that no matter how much you plan, no one likes change, not even moms. Be patient, take a deep breath and remember, that in a week or two, you won’t even remember that you turned the clocks back. Expect an extra temper tantrum or some other unwanted behaviors and try not to misdirect any blame. The only one to blame here is Mother Nature!
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