There are two times every year I cringe just a tad, one is springing ahead because I lose one hour of sleep and the other is falling back, because this can kick an early riser into over drive. I often receive many questions how should I approach the time change and my children’s overall schedule and sleep.
Invest in good black out shades, when the time changes and we are falling back it will begin to get lighter in the very early morning hours. The slightest peep of light can affect anyone’s sleep and have your child up early in the morning. Check out my website for the black out shades that will change your life for the better.
You can begin 7-10 days before the actual time change adjusting your child’s entire schedule. For example, if your child naps each day at 12 pm begin with 15 minute intervals pushing back their schedule. Day 1 & 2, put your child down at 12:15. Day 3 & 4, put your child down at 12:30. Day 5 & 6; put your child down at 12:45 pm. Then on day 7 the time will have changed and back to their normal 12 pm naptime. The same applies for bedtime a 7 pm bedtime start putting them to bed 15 minutes later every few nights, by the time you reach 8 pm the time will have changed and actually be there normal 7 pm bedtime. Be consistent and patient and remember this will apply for their entire schedule, meals, naps, bath and bedtime.
Day 1 & Day 2- Nap begins at 12:15 pm and Bedtime begins at 7:15 pm
Day 3 & Day 4- Nap begins at 12:30 pm and Bedtime begins at 7:30pm
Day 5 & Day 6- Nap begins at 12:45 pm / and Bedtime begins at 7:45 pm
Day 7- Nap begins at 1 pm, which now the time has changed and it is their usual 12 pm nap time / Bedtime will be at 8:00 pm, which is their normal 7 pm bedtime.
Early Morning Wake-ups- Set a goal if your child continues to wake in the early morning hours, you will not get out of bed until 6 am. Then each morning increase the amount of time they are staying in their bed until you go get them to start their day.
Dramatic Wake-up- Creating a dramatic wake-up is important so your child can see the difference between quiet/sleeping time and time to begin our day. Open the blinds, turn on the lights, begin a diaper change, and use your louder voices.
This too shall be short and know after about a week your child’s schedule will begin to even back out. The key is to not give in an go back to old ways because your early riser is now truly rising earlier then ever or fighting you during naps and bedtime.
Every child is different, some children are barely phased by the time change and others need to implement a gradual approach a few weeks before to make an easy transition to the new time change.
The best part of falling back is the extra hour we all receive of sleep, but children are not adults and understand the true beauty of this concept.
I enjoy hearing from you with questions and your own stories. Please email me firstname.lastname@example.org or visit my website www.serenitysleepers.com if you need help getting an area of sleep on the right track and sleep back in your families life.