I love fall - the cooler weather, when the leaves change color and I get an extra hour of sleep. But as a parent, I dread my kids waking up too early.
If you missed my Facebook posts in the past 2 weeks where I have been reminding you to start putting your child down 15min later and holding off their wake time later by the same amount to help them adjust to the time change then keep reading.
Here are some tips to help your lil one through the transition.
1. Put your child to bed at their normal bedtime on Saturday night.
2. Your child will likely wake up at their normal time (6:30am), but the clock will say (5:30 am). Your brain will say uck! Go ahead and get them up, they don’t know about daylight savings time, but you can keep it low key for 30-60min until you are ready to start your day.
3. If your child is less than 3 years old and still naps then stretch him as close as you can to his normal 1st nap time (using the current clock). Using the example above, your child woke at 5.30 am (new time), if he would normally nap 2 ½ hours later or 8am (on the new time), start his nap at 9am. Water play is a great wake to keep any kiddo awake!
If you think your child can’t make it to the full hour, split the difference pushing the morning nap 30min or if that is too much, push the 1st nap 15-20mins, every 3 days until the new time is reached.
4. From this point forward, follow your usual schedule as close as possible. Move meals, the rest of his naps(s) and bedtime using the new clock time.
5. The next few mornings, they may wake up a little early, but don’t let them start the day before 6am (new clock) and the adjustment shouldn’t take more than a week.
If your child has outgrown napping, you will still move meals and bedtime routine to the new times (or as close as you can without letting them get overtired).
If your child had too late of a bedtime before the time change, here is your chance to move it earlier without too much fuss. The ideal bedtime for a child is between 7 and 8 pm. So if your lil ones nite-nite time was too late, don’t move it later! Put them to bed at the new time of 7 or 8pm.
Michelle is a Pediatric Sleep Consultant and Certified Gentle Sleep Coach who offers parents a gentle and loving approach to their sleep problems. Through her years as a therapist, a mother and a sleep coach, Michelle’s approach offers tired parents an alternative to the cry it out method. Her proven solutions are medically and developmentally appropriate and look at all aspects of your child to gently get them the sleep that is so important to the entire family.
Michelle Donaghy, Pediatric Sleep Consultant – Certified Gentle Sleep Coach
Cell: 714 651 5116 ~ Fax: 267-382-2070
Making Sweet Dreams ~ Sleep Coaching for Children
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