SLEEP Tips to Help Your Child with the Fall Back Time Change
On Sunday, November 4th, 2018 at 2:00 am Daylight Savings Time ends and we “Fall Back”. If you think that means an extra hour of sleep, you probably don’t have children! Unfortunately, babies, toddlers, and preschooler don’t care what time it is and that extra hour of sleep you were dreaming of may only be a dream! Many dread the time change and fear the even earlier morning wake up followed by cranky child and unhappy family.
Good news! Here are a few SLEEP Tips that can help your family adjust and “Fall Back” with the Daylight Savings time change.
SLEEP Tips for the End of Daylight Savings Time
- Spend time outdoors. Natural light helps our bodies adjust our internal clocks. Playing outside not only exposes a child to natural light which will help adjust their internal clocks it promotes physical activity which can be tiring!
- Lighting. Keep the lights low in the morning and brighter at night for a few days after the time changes to help reset the little one’s natural internal clock.
- Environment. Promote an ideal sleep environment by keeping the room cool, dark and quiet. This will help ensure the sleep is restorative for all naps and night sleep.
- Early bedtimes. Changes in our schedule are easier to navigate when we are well rested. Don’t be afraid to give your little one a few days of an earlier bedtime to help them with this adjustment.
- Patience. Be consistent and patient. It will take everyone a few days to adjust to the new schedule if we are consistent with our sleep rules.
How to Prepare for the Time Change
For more sensitive sleepers, consider shifting their schedule ahead of time. Gradually shift their daily activities (including wake up, feeding, and sleep times) 15-20 minutes later over a few days. Continue making this adjustment until you have move the schedule by an hour. For example, on Thursday move their routine (and wake up time) a bit later, continue throughout the weekend so that when Monday comes everyone will be adjusted to the time difference.
Fall back early.
If a gradual option is too much trouble, try making the switch one day earlier. Adjust your clocks Friday night and follow the new time throughout the day on Saturday. This gives everyone one more day to adjust before the chaos of the week begins Monday.
If you child is more adaptable, you may decide to just do nothing (except put the coffee on earlier)! Your child will simply wake up and hour earlier and you will keep their schedule the same. You may notice your little one is tired or hungry a little earlier so you will naturally adjust their schedule throughout the day.
Regardless of your approach, after a few days of patience and consistency (and more sleep) we should all be back on track!