Daylight Savings Time ends on Sunday, November 5th. Making the switch to “fall back” only involves a time change of one hour – but even that can affect your little one’s sleep.
Here are a few tips to help keep their sleep schedule on track:
1. Get enough sleep now. Make sure your child is getting plenty of sleep leading up to the time change. Going into daylight saving time well rested will greatly help your child because they wont be cranky and overtired.
2. Slow and Steady. To help with the adjustment, slowly adjust your child’s schedule leading up to Daylight Savings time. Over the course of the week leading up to the time change, start shifting your child’s schedule later by 15 minutes every 2-3 days. Start with naps, on the first day nap at 8:45am instead of 9am and so on. By the end of the week, you will be close to the new adjusted time with a later bedtime and hopefully later wake up time.
3. Adjust to the new time after the time change. Change the clocks as you normally would and wake your toddler, eat, play, nap and go to bed at the usual times according to what the clock says. They may be grumpy for a while, but the more you stick to your routines, the faster they will adjust to the time change.
4. Live life. Don’t let the time change get in the way of living your life. Keep the following in mind:
- A well-rested child will best adapt to the time change.
- If your child is affected by the time change do your best to get back on track with your normal schedule. Get out in the morning and keep active and then offer quiet, relaxing activities in the afternoon.
- Within a week or two you should be past the adjustment period.
5. Be sympathetic. In the days following the time change, try to be more forgiving if your child is throwing extra temper tantrums and seems to be particularly frustrated or difficult. Time change can cause such short-term changes in a child’s mood, but your understanding and support will help them adjust.
Time change is something we all have to adjust to, twice a year, take note how it affects your child now and keep that in mind in the spring.