How to Prepare Your Child for the Fall Time Change

It’s that time again.

The dreaded time change. 😱

There was a time when we loved “falling back”. Who doesn't love getting an extra hour of sleep? But once you become parents, you join night shift workers and other parents of young kids in the People Who Despise Time Change Club.

It's bad enough that children struggle with sleeping anyway - now something comes along to disrupt the schedule you finally got them used to!

 

Well have hope, in this post,  I  give you some simple tips to help ease your child into the new fall time change without the sleep deprivation, grumpiness, and early morning wake-ups that this time change usually ushers in.

 

Take a few minutes to learn these strategies and actually enjoy that extra hour of sleep this year.

 

(If you want to watch the more detailed video version of this post, check it out here

 

  

Tip #1

Transition to the new bedtime

Start moving your child’s bedtime later by 15 minutes each night. By doing this, you help your child transition to the new bedtime without such a shock to his schedule. This works best if you start about 4 days before the time changes. 

For example- If your child’s bedtime is 7:30 pm when the time changes, it will feel like it is time for bed at 6:30 pm.  If you don’t help adjust their daily schedule, your children will be falling asleep in their dinner or having a meltdown from sleep deprivation as you hold them off until the new bedtime.  

But if you move their bedtime a little later each night, they will have adapted to the new bedtime when it arrives.

This will naturally shift your child’s wake up time in the morning to a later time so that they aren’t waking an hour earlier than you want them to.

 "I love for my child to wake up before the sun comes up"

 --No Mom Ever

 

Tip #2

Boost the Sleep/Wake Hormones

Our sleep and wake hormones are tied to daylight and darkness. So, take advantage of that association by:

  • Getting lots of sunlight and activity during the day
  • As the sun goes down, dim the lights, drop the temperature, turn off electronics, calm the environment so that your child’s body gets the signal that it is time for bed
  • Use Black Out Shades in your bedrooms to signal that it is night time
  • Open the shades and let the sun in to signal wake up time

 

Tip #3

Establish a Consistent Daily Routine

This is another boost to your sleep and wake hormones. And children do much better when they have a schedule that helps them know what to expect. Here are some ways to help keep that consistency:

  • Set a regular wake up time
  • Keep the child in bed until the desired wake up time (especially avoid bringing them into your bed until time to wake up!)
  • Hold off breakfast until your desired breakfast time daily. 
  • Make sure your child gets good restorative naps
  • Set a regular bedtime

(You can watch the video for more details about these tips ) 

By following these easy tips, you should be able to help your child maneuver through these next couple of weeks with less disruption.

If you aren’t reading this BEFORE the time changes, it is OK. Just start wherever you are, and your child will adjust soon.

 

Children who have well-established sleep habits will naturally do better during this time. So, If you don’t have regular bedtime routines and sleep habits, get this Quick Start Guide to Better Sleep here.

 

Sometimes the time change is a literal wakeup call for the need for better sleep habits. If you realize that this is describing your family, let me help you develop a plan for solving your child’s sleep problems. Together, we can develop a custom sleep plan tailored to your individual family’s needs and get you on the way to more restorative sleep for your whole family. You can get more information about a Custom Sleep Plan Here

Because who doesn't LOVE getting an extra hour of sleep?

Want to discuss these further? Come on over to the Dream Baby Mama Tribe and join the discussion.

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