The thought of the time change at the end of daylight savings can strike fear in the majority of parents…
Oh no, they are going to wake up too early! How do I help them transition through the time change and into their new bedtime successfully?
Not to worry! Simply follow these easy easy steps:
Rather than changing the clocks on Saturday night before you go bed – DON’T! It will simply annoy all of you that you might start your day earlier than normal the next morning. After breakfast on Sunday, go around the house and change all the clocks. (Of course, if you have a 6:00 am hockey game to get to – go ahead and set yours!)
Step #2 – For Toddlers and Young Children:
On Sunday night, split the difference by a half hour. So, let’s say your child is going to bed around 7:30 pm the week before. When the time change occurs, it will be 6:30 pm their body time. Do not put them down at 6:30 pm that night, put them down to bed at 7:00 pm which will be 8:00 pm their time. They will be awake for an extra half hour. Do the same for their afternoon nap on Monday. Do this for 3 nights. Then the on the fourth night, move to their new bedtime. On the fifth day, move them to their new nap time. Hold them to the 6 am wake up if they wake up too early in the mornings. It might take some time for their body to adjust. For some children and adults, it can take as long as 30 days for the body to adjust.
Be patient and you will get there.
Step #2 – For Infants:
If their bedtime has become very predictable – for example they are always going to bed at 7 pm, then on the Sunday, move their bedtime by 15 minutes so they do not get overtired. Keep adjusting by 15 minutes every night so that in four nights you should be on your new bedtime. If they are not predictable with their bedtime (3 to 6 months old) simply jump into the new time on Sunday as if you were traveling to a new time zone. Once again, hold them to a 6 am wake up time and be patient.
And then for next year…plan ahead!
Get ahead of the game and take the stress out of the time change 🙂 Start a whole month early and adjust your little one’s bedtime by 15 minutes every week. By the time the big day rolls around, your little ones will already be on their new schedule.