Get ready for it… Next Sunday… Daylight Savings is coming… Dun Dun Dunnnnn!!
No, no, no… no need to be scared of anything besides your children getting extra cavities this week. If you are prepared for Daylights Savings Time, falling back, with a plan of action, then you shouldn’t have to worry about it.
What should my plan be, you ask? Well first of all, stay consistent with your routines. Keep all your bedtime routines strong so that your kiddos will still know the deal- sleep time is still sleep time! Second, the afternoon sun will be your best friend. Exposing your littles to extra sun in the afternoon will help their internal clocks reset to the new timing. Third, blackout shades, blackout shades, blackout shades! Make sure your child’s windows are well equipped to keep the earli-ER sunshine from streaming in and making any early rising seem like a good idea.
And now, my tired friends, follow me down the “you pick a ending path”. The fourth step to help you with Daylights Savings Time, depends on a) your little one’s age b) your little one’s sleep temperament and c) your parenting style. So if your child is 8 months or younger, a very sensitive sleeper, and/or you’re a planner parent- go to fourth step #1. If your child is older than 8 months old, well rested and flexible with their sleep schedule, and/or you’re a “let’s wait and see what happens and then deal with it” parent- go to fourth step #2.
Fourth Step #1:
In order to slide your little one into the time change, plan a gradual change. Starting a week prior to the Daylight Savings Time change, move all of your child’s daily schedule 15 minutes later. This would include morning wake up time, breakfast, naps, lunch, dinner, and bedtime. Every two days, do this again.
So for example, if your child normally wakes at 6:30, naps at 8:30 and 1, and bedtime is at 6:30, for first day the new schedule would be 6:45, 8:45, 1:15, and 6:45. Following this change every two days would get you to an hour after the original schedule by the Saturday before Daylight Savings Time, and then Sunday morning the schedule would match the clock timing of the old schedule. Moving forward keep this “original” time schedule.
For the transition week and the week following the change, your little one might be a little over tired and you might witness some protests, but stay the course and everything will level out with minimal sleep loss!
Fourth Step #2:
Wait until Sunday morning after the clock changes, and see what happens. You might have an early riser. If your little one usually wakes at 7, they might try to get up at 6, have patience with them, and accept this early wake, but then treat the rest of the day like normal.
Keep your schedule matching the clock time that it normally is at. Again, use your blackout shades and the sun to your benefit. In the morning if their room is extra dark there is less of a chance they will wake as early. And use the sun, or artificial lighting if needed, to signal to your little one that the evening is still the evening not sleeping time yet. If they have a Ok-To-Wake clock, make sure the time matches the updated time but if they can’t follow it the first morning, give them a pass, but stick to it for the rest of the week.
If you did have an early riser on Sunday morning, get yourself to bed early that night to catch up on sleep yourself, but keep the rest of your week as close to normal as possible.
Good luck and remember consistency is key, so whatever you do, do it consistently! Happy Sleeping