It’s time to spring your clocks forward this Sunday, but let's not lose any sleep over it! Time changes aren’t exactly a parent’s best friend. I have some tips that I’d like to share that can help make your child’s adjustment to the new time easier on your family!
Step 1 - Do nothing. I recommend not changing your clocks Saturday night. That's right-get that hour of sleep! Instead of waking an hour early, wake-up, drink your coffee, eat breakfast and then adjust the clocks. That way your family will gradually adjust to the new time throughout the day as opposed to being smacked in the face by it on Sunday morning. Do yourself a favor and get your full hour of sleep and then adjust your clock after you get your start. Another option is to simply go to bed a little early on Saturday if you can. Everyone benefits when we get our sleep! Step 2 - Use the “half” approach. Gradually adjust the time and your child will have the best chance at successfully falling asleep earlier. For several days, try to split the difference. How exactly? You will put your child to bed a half hour later for three nights in a row and then on the fourth night you will put your child to bed at the normal time. For example, if your child goes to bed at 7:00 PM you will put your child to bed at 7:30 PM on Sunday, Monday and Tuesday and then on Wednesday you’ll put them to bed at 7:00 PM. Coping with a half hour time difference initially will be easier for their body clock to handle than jumping right into the hour difference.
Step 3 - What about naps? Don’t worry, I would never forget about naps. Any parent knows that naps are important for ALL involved, right?! You will use the same “half” approach. Put your child down for their first (or only) nap a half hour later starting on Sunday. The only difference is that you will do this for four days in a row and then change back to the normal time on the fifth day. For example, if your child’s first nap is at 10:00 AM, you will put your child down at 10:30 AM on Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and then on Thursday move it back to 10:00 AM. You will handle any additional naps in the same manner. NOTE: If your child is in daycare, I would strongly suggest beginning to work on naps on Saturday, which will allow an extra day to adjust before the full change on Monday. I know how difficult it can be to adjust with changes to routine and time. I hope that these tips will help your family adjust with ease. It may take a week or two for your child to fully adjust. In the meantime, be extra patient with your little one.
If you are struggling to get your little one to sleep well, I can help! I offer a free consultation and would love to talk with you about any night and nap challenges. I can help you and your family get the rest you all deserve and offer services for babies and children up to age eight.
If you are reading this in the wee hours of the morning and feeling like you are on your last leg, I know how you feel! We love our children, but so desperately need rest, too. I can truly say that I know what it’s like to have tried everything possible and still be up at night... Learn more about how I can help.