ARE YOU READY TO FALL BACK?
As if 2020 hasn’t been enough of a circus, now it’s time to add Daylight Savings Time to the laundry list of things to worry about! I envy the individuals looking forward to the “fall back” switch gaining that glorious extra hour of sleep…clearly, they are not parents. Anyone with kids knows the end of daylight savings time means the nighttime (well, early morning) gong show begins. To top it off, it’s happening November 1, the day after Halloween, so let’s really stick it to parents.
This “small” one-hour change really does have an effect on all of us. The biggest factor is it can increase our sleep debt – especially in children, who tend to be much more structured with going to bed at the same time every night and waking up at the same time every morning. Lucky for you, that adorable 6:00 AM alarm clock doesn’t need to become a 5:00 AM alarm clock if you follow the tips below.
LEAVE THE CLOCKS ALONE.
Sounds silly right? Well, this isn’t for the kiddos it’s really to lessen the blow for the parents! On Saturday night, leave the clocks alone so it’s not an immediate mind (you know what) to see your little one up an hour earlier. Just get up at your usual time and start the day. Don’t forget to change your phone to not automatically update! After you’ve got a good grip on the morning, then go around changing the clocks. That’s an easy mom win for the day!
DON’T RUSH THE CHANGE.
Think of this switch as a marathon not a sprint. Start by adjusting naps and bedtime by 30 minutes earlier for three days following the time change. This will feel like 30 minutes later to your child but let them have a post-dinner dance party or an extra-long bath before bedtime and they won’t even notice. You might find them a bit confused, but not so much that it will cause damage to their schedule.
On day four, adjust your child’s naps and bedtime back in line with the clock.
THIS TAKES TIME.
It takes time to adjust to a clock change. Roll with the punches and know that both you and your little one will adjust in time. Getting everyone’s schedule back to “normal” can reasonably take a week or two. Just watch out for signs of too much overtiredness. Overtiredness can happen quickly and create more challenges with going to sleep, middle-of-the-night wakeups and those dreaded early mornings. When in doubt, put them to bed early.
Changing the clocks in the fall means we no longer have to worry about those, “But mom, the sun is still out and I’m not even tired” comments. Unfortunately, they are often replaced with, “The sun is up so I am too!”
Make sure you have a good set of blackout shades (or a dark sheet over the window works too) creating that nighttime atmosphere when the sun starts to rise an hour earlier!
In addition, keeping bright lights on around the house until about an hour before bedtime will help keep their body clocks more regular.
KEEP IT CONSISTENT.
Whatever your bedtime routine is now, keep it the same. It doesn’t have to be complex and should only last 20-30 minutes but make sure to keep it the same each and every night.
Our routine looks like this:
Bath, PJs, Book, Song and Lights Out!
NOTE: If you have a child who is still feeding before bed, make sure that feeding happens right after bath and that the kiddo stays WIDE AWAKE during the feed.
ASK FOR HELP.
Making an adjustment to anyone’s circadian rhythm is no easy task. I am here to help with the early mornings or getting you back on a schedule. It takes a village and I’m here for support.
From one once-tired mama to another, here’s to a good night’s sleep.
For more information, head to https://www.dreamweaversleepllc.com/