Before kids you loved the fall back time change, an extra hour of sleep! Now with young kids, it’s a different story messing with everyone’s sleep schedule. Throw in spring forward and now everyone's all out of whack.
Take Baby Steps
In the days leading up to the time change make small incremental changes to your toddlers sleep and wake times. Pushing back or moving up 15 minutes each day for the days leading up will help them gradually adjust to this change in their schedule.
Use Light to Your Advantage
Melatonin naturally increases in the evening as it gets darker helping your ease your body into sleep. Daylight savings time throws a wrench in this cycle and can be especially difficult on children. Light guides our circadian rhythm so use it to your advantage in signaling sleep and awake time.
Combat this making sure your child is exposed to some light in the early evening. When they wake up introduce light slowly, making sure it’s not too bring in the morning. A good set of blackout shades does wonders!
Routine, Routine, Routine
Have a routine in place that helps signal to your child it’s bedtime. Children thrive when they have a routine, it’s even more critical at bedtime.
Time change is especially hard on children as the loss of sleep can leave them feeling over tired and a little cranky. Be sure to have a little extra patience for up to a week afterwards as they fall back into their routine and adjust.