With Daylight Savings quickly approaching, it is important to address your child's sleep schedule. While a one hour difference may not seem like much to adults, having the physical clock disagree with the internal clock can wreak havoc on a child's sleep schedule. Here are 3 quick tips to get you through the transition smoothly:
1. Start the transition a few days in advance. Start on Wednesday and put your child to sleep 15 minutes earlier each night until the clocks change. So if your child's bedtime is 7pm, put them to sleep at 6:45 on Wednesday, 6:30 on Thursday, 6:15 on Friday, and 6:00 on Saturday. By Sunday 6pm will have changed to 7pm and your child will be right back on track. This method allows the body to gradually adjust to the time difference instead of shifting one hour all in one day.
2. Black out curtains are your friend. Chances are if your child can talk, he or she will mention something along the lines of not wanting to go to bed while it's still light out. We often teach young children that bedtime is associated with the moon, stars, darkness, etc. so this can be a confusing time for them. If after the time change they will now be going to sleep while it's light out, make sure their room is dark. Use black out shades and you need more, black poster board or even tin foil make great, cheap temporary back ups.
3. Consistency is always key. Keep your child's bedtime routine the exact same. Children find comfort in consistency and schedules. Even if their biological clocks are thrown off for a week or so, try not to stray from the norm. Make sure to follow the new clock time religiously and their bodies will soon adapt.