There is an old English proverb that states, “Early to bed and early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise,” unless of course you reset his clock back one hour and confuse his children by telling them that seven is now six but they must sleep until eight which is really seven…huh?
Now if you are hearty enough to brave the cold winters of Saskatchewan, the home base of SleepWell Baby, then you have been spared the havoc that Daylight Savings Time can wreak on your children’s sleep schedule. If not, then it is time dear friends to Fall Back. Yes, Daylight Savings Time has ended.
Here are some tips from SleepWell Baby to stay healthy, wealthy and wise… or at the very least, keep naptime and bedtime business as usual during this period of transition.
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Take Your Time
Leave your clocks alone on the first morning of the time change. Wake up at your usual time and start the day. Enjoy that extra hour before the day really begins. Have you ever thought, “If only there were more time in a day?” Well, today there is one more hour. But don’t forget to change those clocks before the hustle and bustle of the day begins.
It’s Time to Close the Nap Gap
Instead of immediately making the switch to new naptimes, split the difference. Adjust the morning and afternoon naps by 30 minutes to begin with and add another 30 minutes by the third day. This will be a bit of a stretch for your child’s routine, but not so much that it will cause major disruption to his schedule.
Take Time at Bedtime
If bedtime is usually 7:00 PM, put your child to bed at 6:30 PM for the first three days following the time change. Remember that 6:30 feels like 7:30 to your child. Go back to a 7:00 PM bedtime on the fourth day. It will take about a week for your child’s body to get used to this adjustment.
Give Your Baby Time
Because 6:00 AM is the new 7:00 AM, your baby is going to be waking up too early. Instead of rushing in at 6:00 AM, encourage her to stay in bed longer by waiting ten minutes to get her on the first morning of the new schedule. Continue by adding ten minutes each day until the end of the week. At this point your baby’s body will adjust to the changes in naptimes and bedtime and she should wake at the desired hour.
A Good Time to Teach Time
Consider taking this opportunity to teach pre-school children to read a clock. If you have children over the age of two, this is an ideal time to boost independence by adding a digital clock to their sleep environment. Spend time teaching them the numbers six and seven. Draw, colour, trace, cut, or make up a little story about Sleepy Six and SleepWell Special Seven. Be creative to get your children interested in the numbers. Cover the minutes on the clock with black electrical tape and reinforce the concept of the SleepWell Special Seven (this is the magical number we must see before we can wake up). Adjust the clock forward by 30 minutes so that at 6:30 AM it reads 7:00AM. This means your pre-schoolers will be waking a little earlier at first but be back on track by the end of the week.
Keep these tips in mind as you prepare to Fall Back. And remember that, “early to bed, and early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise,” especially if that guy or gal has friends at SleepWell Baby.
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SleepWell Baby was founded by Amanda Hudye, and provides Sleep Consulting for families with children aged 16 weeks to 8 years old. Our team of Certified Sleep Consultants at SleepWell Baby, work with families all over the world to help get them all resting easy. We are trained in the science of sleep and look to work with each family to create a customized plan that will work for them. Want to get your family resting easy – contact SleepWell today.