Kids & Company Blog

Fall Back: Help Your Child Adjust to the Time Change

A day is quickly approaching that strikes fear into the hearts of every parent who has an early riser.  Ready for Daylight Savings Time to end and the clocks roll back to standard time?  Your precious darling who normally rises at 6:30 AM will now naturally wake at 5:30 AM. The thought is enough to make a tough mom or dad hang their head and order that cardboard coffee traveller – serves 10…or one very tired parent who was up before the roosters.

Don’t despair quite yet.  Here are some tips that can help you make the transition easier for everyone in the family.

Like to plan ahead or have a child that thrives on a pretty strict schedule?  Starting a week ahead of time, you can put your baby/child to bed 10 minutes later each night.  For example, if the normal bed time is 7pm, try 7:10 one evening, then 7:20 the next until you get to 8pm.  Once standard time returns, you’ll resume bedtime at 7pm, since 8pm is now 7pm b/c the clocks have rolled back.  It will take a bit of time, but eventually, their internal clock will shift and your child should begin getting up later too.

Prefer to not adjust sleep so far in advance or have a child that is pretty flexible sleep wise?  You can try just putting your child to bed 30 minutes later two days before the clocks roll back and then 30 min. later again the next night.  So, 7pm bedtime becomes 7:30 the first night and 8pm the second.  Then, the clock will roll back and you’ll resume a 7pm bedtime.

Prep the bedroom for more morning sunlight.  Remember, sunrise will be an hour earlier too.  Be prepared – you may get even earlier wake up times in the short term, but that should be temporary.  Make sure you have shades, darkening curtains or even towels tacked up over the windows for those first few mornings, since it lessens the odds of early morning sun waking your child before you want her to get up.

Should you pick up your baby 10 minutes later each morning for the week?  It’s worth a try.  It can definitely help him adjust to the later wake up but it depends on your child’s temperament when he wakes.   Do you let him hang out solo for some time in the morning?  If he’s a screamer, it just might not be worth it to you because no one is sleeping anyway.  If you need something to help your child understand when it is/isn’t time to get up, we like this Gro Clock sold by Snugglebugz.  It visually cues children when it’s time to stay in bed and when they are able to leave their room.

Forgot about the clocks rolling back?  No worries, you can do this after the fact too – you just may have a really early riser for a few days.  Raise your XL double double up high and salute the tired parent behind you in line for coffee.

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