By: Michelle Donaghy, Pediatric Sleep Consultant – Certified Gentle Sleep Coach
Daylight savings time is upon us once again. Sunday March 10th at 2am our clocks with move forward 1 hour. I enjoy the extra daylight but as a parent it means I need to adjust my children’s sleep schedule.
To help your children adjust to the new schedule try these tips:
· Start (3-5 days) the before the time change - adjust their bedtime and naptime gradually by moving it UP 15 minutes every few days until the new time is reached.
· Adjust their nap times and wake times in synch with the earlier bedtime schedule you are following.
· Make sure they are well napped while you are adjusting to the time change.
· Have a relaxing bedtime routine with a specific set of steps to sign bedtime. It doesn’t have to be long, but it should be the same routine every night to sign sleep is coming.
· Make sure they are going into their bed/crib drowsy but awake (bedtime is the easiest time to fall asleep independently).
· Use lots of morning light to help reset their circadian rhythm or body clock.
It will likely take a week to adjust to the new time.
For kids that are having early rising problems this time change should actually help. Since we are moving time forward, that 5am riser will now be waking at 6am. But the trick is to not adjust their bedtime the full hour earlier, maybe only 1/2 hour - otherwise their lil bodies will likely move that wake up time toooo early again after a week or so. Again, make sure they are going to bed awake otherwise this problem will show itself in other ways.
If you find this article after the time change and don’t have time to plan you can still use these tips. Don’t put your child to bed the full hour earlier but gradually instead. For example if she usually goes down at 8:00pm, for example, have her in bed by 7:45 the first few nights and 7:30 the next few nights until the new time is
I hope these tips help you and your children adjust to the new time so you can enjoy the extra day light with lots of fun!
Look for my next blog post where we will talk more about Healthy Sleep Habits for your Children and I will answer more of your questions. If you have a question you would like me to answer please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll include it in a future blog.
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