I always think to myself I want to write about time change and I always forget. Not this year. I used to dread time change when my kiddos were smaller, it’s still trickier but at this age they can help us prepare for the shift.
Time change can often kick parents in the pants and it also is something we don’t think of in advance and aren’t always proactive about. This year we are going to have the time fall back on Sunday, November 5. This marks the time when the days start to get shorter. How can we prepare our kiddos and ourselves to get ready for the shorter days and time change?
1) 4-8 days before the change, start practicing a later bedtime. Extend bedtime by a few minutes every couple of days so that by the time the time change occurs the new time is the actual old time. For example; if bedtime is normally 7:30, extend 15 minutes each couple of days and after a week bedtime will be 8:30, but when the time changes it’ll actually be 7:30.
2) Anticipate early risings and be prepared: In any change in sleep patterns there is a potential for early mornings. Be patient. Try and have them set up with quiet activities in their room (if they’re old enough) or extra snuggle time with you if possible. Older kids can be learning the clock and what time they are allowed to leave their room at.
3) The light/darkness outside: this shift tends to trip our kids up. It gets so dark around supper time. This takes getting used to for sure, not many tricks for this except to open blinds in the morning when the sun is shining and enjoy the sunshine during the day.
4) Just like you’re adjusting bedtime in the week before, kids tend to need nap times adjusted as well. They will tend to be tired earlier, try and follow nap times in the week ahead in the same fashion as you did with sleep time. Snacks and lunch times will also be out of whack, be ready for earlier snacks but try and keep meal times the same.
5) During the few weeks that your child’s body is getting adjusted to the time change try not to change any other things. It wouldn’t be the best time to shift from crib to bed, to start toilet training or any other big change.
6) Be patient: It takes us all a while to adjust to the time change, your baby will resume their normalcy soon enough. Sleep deprivation is the worst, we’ve all been there. Try and schedule in a few more naps and more quiet time than usual to help all of you get through these weeks.
Take care of yourself. I know that sounds a bit tricky at the best of times, but if you get your rest it’ll help you get through the couple of weeks of cranky kiddos.
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