This is the end….of daylight saving time – October 30, 2018
Before kids, adults love when the time changes in the fall when they slumberly gain an extra hour of sleep on the weekend. When you are a parent of a little one, you are not necessarily going to get that extra hour. You may already thinking and dreading about Sunday November 4th at 2am when the clocks go back an hour. This means your little one will be awake an hour earlier than usual. YIKES! Those early mornings can lead to overtired kiddos and bedtime battles. Making that adjustment is not always easy.
Here are some ideas to try to help you FALL BACK.
Know your child – Did your child have a difficult time in the spring with the time change? How do they react when they miss a nap or stay up too late? If your child generally sleeps well and has an easy going temperament the transition to the end of daylight saving might not be too bad. Read their sleep cues and they will likely make the transition fairly easily if they “go with the flow”. If your child “crumbles” when these things happen, you’ll want to make this transition slow and begin a few days before the clocks change. The younger your baby is, the easier it is for them to become overtired.
Slowly adjust the time later – To change our biological clocks by an hour, we need to adjust our sleep times, awake times and meal times over a few days in anticipation of the time change. Shift the time by 15 minutes later. So if bedtime is 7:00pm, push bedtime to 7:15pm for one or two nights, and gradual shift the timing every couple of nights. Hopefully, awakenings will happen later as well. If morning awakenings are becoming earlier, stop shifting the wake times. Remember after daylight saving ends, it’s going to get darker earlier, which will help after the clock change.
Make the time change after the clocks move – If you make the change after the clocks go back, then put your little one down to bed 30 minutes earlier. Use blackout curtains to help keep the morning light from shining in. The fall morning sunshine is not as bright as the spring but it can keep your little one sleeping a little longer. When it is time to get up, open those curtains and let the natural daylight shine in. Wait until 6am to get your little one up (or as close to it as you can and be comfortable with it). It may take a few days, but it will help with the early morning wake ups.
Think about it – If your child is well-rested, they should have little difficulty with the change. Go about your daily activities. Getting out in the sunshine and some activity in the morning time and restful times in the afternoon. It should take no longer than two weeks at the maximum to adjust to the new time. Generally speaking for one hour time-zone change it usually takes a few days to make that adjustment. Remember how they did with this transition of the clock this time and then you can be prepared for the spring when we go back to daylight saving. Persistence and consistency are key when dealing with any change to a schedule or routine.
Or you can move to Saskatchewan where you (mostly) don’t have to deal with time changes….