Is the upcoming time change starting to make you panic a little? Are you worried about the potential of your children waking extra early in the morning? Being mothers ourselves, we know how difficult the time change can be and how stressful it can be to even think about.
We’ve outlined some tips and 3 different plans to help you prepare for the time change with your little one’s schedule. If your child is waking up early in the morning now, follow some of our tips to ensure that they do not start waking up earlier when the time change happens!
Your child’s temperament and how well they adapt to changes in their schedule will greatly affect how far in advance you will have to start actively preparing your child for the time change. If you have an easy going, adaptable little one you may find that spending the night before and the night of the time change will be enough. If you have a child that needs a little more time for their system to regulate, using the four day plan (plan B) detailed below will allow for smaller changes over a longer period of time, which could mean an easier adjustment.
Where to start with adjusting for the time change?
It is important to pick the plan you feel will help your child adjust based on their own individual personality.
PLAN A: for the child who isn’t as bothered much by change and can handle a slightly larger push in his or her wake window
The goal with this plan is to push the child’s schedule by 30 minutes each night. We’ve used a 7:00pm bedtime with a 9am and 1pm nap schedule as a guide.
PLAN B: for the child who adjusts better with smaller changes
Is designed to help your child adjust slowly to the changes being made. Depending on your child’s temperament, drastic changes can lead to upset, tears and less sleep than everyone would like. This is why our 4-day plan really focuses on small changes both during the day and at bedtime. The goal is to push your child’s schedule by 15 minutes each day and night to ensure a smooth transition.
Again, we’ve used a 7:00 pm bedtime with a 9am and 1pm nap but you can adjust it according to your little one’s current schedule.
Plan C: for the family that prefers to wait until after the time change make shifts in the schedule.
For those families that prefer to wait for the time change to happen and then adjust their child’s schedule, we’ve included how to make the changes with increments of 15 and 30 minutes. The 30 minute schedule would get you back to your regular schedule by Monday evening while the 15 minute increments would have you back on track by Wednesday.
A few extra tips to help get you through the time change:
Check their Sleep Environment
Remember to have an environment for your child that promotes healthy sleep. This will help their internal clock adjust to the shift in schedule. By ensuring the environment is dark, knowing that nap time will be a little bit earlier than they are used to, it will help cue their system and signal their body that it is time for sleep.
Keep a Consistent Routine
In order to help your children adjust to the new time, it is important to give them enough down time before bed to decompress. Having a consistent routine before naps and bedtime will be key.
There may be extra tears while they are adjusting. Try and be patient and know that once they are back on track, things will get easier. You may start to see some tired signs or even extra meltdowns, hyperactivity or longer bedtime battles for a couple of weeks after the time change.
Tips for the Early rising Child
If your children are early risers (waking up before 6 am) you will want to start working on strategies to push the morning wake up so that you are not waking at 3:30 am after the time change! The leading contributing factors for early rising include: daytime sleep, going to bed too late and the response they are getting first thing in the morning.
Sleep is a balancing act and ensuring all avenues of the 24 hour day are in place can really help make this transition an easy one. Starting with a well rested child can make all the difference when it comes to the time change.