I am a good sleeper. I can fall asleep with the TV on, I often sleep through storms, and while my husband swears I must be faking, I can even sleep through my daughter getting up in the middle of the night coming into our room and asking for water/bathroom/to get in our bed/other random request. I am also one of those people who needs a good 8 to 9 hours of sleep to function (no 6 hours of sleep for me). This means that one of my very FAVORITE times of year is almost upon us. The end of Daylight Savings Time (this Sunday) might mean earlier nights but it also means an extra hour of sleep. It’s only one night, but it feels like at least a week of sleeping in.
Of course, with a child that doesn’t happen anymore. Instead, we are simply greeted by earlier and earlier morning visits from our munchkin. In search of a way to change that, I went looking online (and among my friends) for the best mom advice about how to get my child adjusted to the time change. Below are the three best tips for how to make the upcoming change easier for everyone in your family.
#1 – Stick to Your Bedtime Routine
As you will often hear over and over again when it comes to sleeping issues, a strong and consistent bedtime routine is key to many sleep problems. When trying to get your child to adjust to going to bed earlier, parents might want to offer extra “help” falling asleep. More back rubs, more books, or any additions to their normal routine are going to have the opposite of the desired effect. So keep it simple and consistent.
#2 – Start Early
Plan for the time change by adjusting your child’s sleep schedule by 15 minute increments each day. If you start tomorrow (Thursday), by the time Sunday comes around your little one will be well on their way to adjusting to the time change.
#3 – Don’t Skimp on the Schedule
It can take time, but eventually your child’s internal clock will reset with the sun. While you wait for this to happen, you may be tempted to let them skip a nap in hopes they will be more tired in the evening. Here again, consistency and keeping to a schedule are key. Be flexible but only to a point. If you find they are sleeping well beyond their normal nap, wake them up. Not tired at bedtime? It’s okay for them to lie in bed awake for a little while.
Jennifer is the creator and co-editor of Rocket City Mom. She is also a compulsive writer, avid reader, occasional singer and former communications wizard turned toddler wrangler. You can often spot her and her little ones cruising the kiddie hot-spots in their "Rocket Van".