It's almost time to "spring ahead", can I get a collective "AMEN" for the winter almost being over?! Daylight Saving Time begins at 2am Sunday, March 13th and I'm ready for the promise of some actual sun and being outdoors more, but with that change can come a potentially troublesome and sleep disrupting catch, the whole "losing an hour" thing. Read on for some tips on how to make the transition a nice smooth one to save your sleep and save your sanity.
First, lay the groundwork by making your child’s bedtime incrementally earlier in the time leading up to springing ahead. If bedtime is normally 7:30, then maybe have the kids go to bed at 7:15, then the next night, go to bed at 7:00. By doing it in small increments it's a gradual change that can be easier for kids to adjust to. If they resist the earlier bedtime, just meet in the middle and call it some "downtime". Read some books, have some quiet time in their room, setting the tone for rest. Skip the TV shows or electronics, it is easier for kids to transition to sleep without the added stimulation. Throw a new book into the mix, remember the "guaranteed sleep book"? Worth a shot!
Sometimes adding a few new things into the mix can help with the adjustment. Try some blackout shades in the kids room if the sun is waking them too early in the morning, and we've found a sound machine is a lifesaver (we love this one at our house). Try out these sweet sleepytime tub pops and a calming bubble bath to get kids more in the mood to snooze.
After the change, make sure your child keeps waking up at the same time every day so that he or she gets used to the time change. Adding in an occasional nap here and there if the new sleep schedule gets them a little off, but sticking to a routine will help even that out. Children with a solid bedtime routine are able to cope better with the changes in time as they know what to expect at the end of the day regardless of the time.
It usually takes about a week after the clocks have changed for everyone, no matter what age, to get into the groove of a new sleeping pattern so just be prepared to have patience if you have a tired and grumpy child or if they are getting you up a full hour earlier than usual. Good luck my friends, and happy almost spring! xoxo