I know I’m not the only one noticing how much shorter our days are getting already. Daylight savings 2012 will end on November 4th. Clocks are moved back one hour from 2 a.m. DST to 1 a.m. For parents of early risers, the upcoming change can be nerve-racking. “She’s already waking up at 5:30 a.m. Does this mean she’s going to start waking up at 4:30 a.m. now?!”
Fortunately the answer is no. You are going to gradually shift her schedule to the new time, just like when you are traveling.
So what will it look like? You have a few options. One is to allow your child to wake up at his natural time on the morning of the 4th. According to the clock, it will be an hour earlier than usual. If he usually wakes up at 7 a.m., he will likely awaken at 6 a.m. That’s fine. It will be short-lived! But try not to let him start his day before 6 a.m. Base the day’s routines (meals, naps, etc.) around the new clock time. If your son’s bedtime was 7:30 p.m., the clock will now read 6:30 p.m. Aim for good naps that day so he can make it to at least 7 p.m. (new time). You can gently push his bedtime back to 7:30 p.m. over the next few nights.
Alternatively, if going “cold turkey” doesn’t appeal, you can also approach the time change incrementally. Put your child to bed 15 minutes later each of the nights leading up to the end of daylight savings. If his usual bedtime is 7:30 p.m., he can go to bed at 7:45 p.m. on October 31, 8 p.m. on November 1st, 8:15 p.m. on November 2nd, and 8:30 p.m., on the 3rd. By the time daylight savings ends, he will already be adjusted – or at least well on his way.
Regardless of which approach you choose, stay consistent and don’t him start his day before 6 a.m. (new time). He’ll be adjusted within a week.
Note: If your little guy seems plagued by early rising, it’s time to get to the bottom of it. Click hereto read my earlier post about the common causes of early rising and how to address them.
*Includes information from Kim West’s Good Night Sleep Tight.
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