By Janeen Hayward, Founder and Principal of Swellbeing, BCB Resident Expert
We are days away from the end of Daylight Savings, yet the days already feel shorter. While the reality is that we will actually gain an hour of night when the time changes at 2:00 a.m. on Sunday, November 1st, parents of young children don’t usually get an extra hour to snooze. To make matters worse, sometimes children don’t adjust to the new time and continue to rise one hour early. Following are my step-by-step tips to transition your tots to the new time and maintain good sleep hygiene for the entire family!
1. Put your child(ren) to bed on Saturday night (10/31) at the regular time.
2. Wake up with your child(ren) at the normal wake up time on Sunday morning (11/1).
3. Set your clocks back one hour. This is where you stretch.
4. Put your child(ren) down for the first nap at the regular time per the clock.** This will mean that s/he has been awake a full hour longer during this window and may need some help to stretch. Going outside and getting lots of sunlight and fresh air is a great way to keep kids awake when you’re stretching them.
5. Follow the clock for naps and bedtime from here forward. It can take a few days for your child to fully adjust, so be patient and consistent.
**Younger children may have a harder time stretching a full hour without becoming overtired. In this case it may be better to stretch them 30 minutes in the morning and 30 minutes in the afternoon or to stretch them slowly over several days. For babies under six months I recommend pulling the entire day’s schedule earlier by 15 minutes for the four days leading up to daylight savings.
***For school-aged children you may want to make the switch a day or two earlier so they have the weekend to get a jump-start on the adjustment.
Janeen Hayward is the Principal of Swellbeing, a complete parenting resource. Swellbeing specializes in smart solutions and sympathetic support for modern parents—and their kids. Simply put, they’re the missing manual to parenthood.For more information visit Janeen’s blog where she writes about parenting topics on a regular basis. Janeen regularly speaks at Bump Club and Beyond events on sleep, positive discipline, potty training, preparing for a second sibling and more.