Ahhh..an hour of extra sleep is on the horizon on Sunday, November 5th when daylight savings time comes to an end…EXCEPT…if you have young children!
Older children may jump right into the new time. They’ll go to sleep at their regular bedtime on Saturday night, wake a little earlier according to new time on Sunday morning, go to bed at their usual clock time on Sunday night and voila…they fall asleep without any bumps or hiccups.
But for babies and toddlers I like to call day light savings time a Goldilocks story.
It’s an opportunity to make sure your child has a just right sleep schedule. With some little ones you won’t have to do anything at all to get to that perfect schedule. With others you might want to make gradual shifts beginning a few nights prior to the time change on the 5th to maintain an already great schedule. And for others, this may be the just right time to consider a complete overhaul of your child’s sleep schedule because the current one just isn’t working.
The time change may make everything just right.
For babies who are going to bed too late or waking too late, you’re in luck! You can just sit tight and do nothing. Just follow the new clock time and your little one will now have a much-improved schedule. Once the time changes, an 8:00 p.m. bedtime is magically now a 7:00 p.m. bedtime. And a potentially too late 7:30- 8:00 a.m. wake up is now a more family friendly 6:30-7:00 a.m. start to the day.
The current schedule is just right and you want to keep it that way.
For children whose schedules are just right before the time change, parents can help them stay the course by gradually shifting sleep times a little later each day. Every night beginning Tuesday the 31st (happy Halloween!) move your child’s dinner, soothing sleep routine, and bedtime 10-15 minutes later. Use the same incremental adjustments for naps prior to the 5th. By Saturday night your child’s typical 7:00 p.m. bedtime will have shifted to 7:50 pm. Come Sunday she should be able to easily slip into bedtime at 7:00 pm new time (which was 8:00 pm old time). Voila!
Your child’s current sleep schedule isn’t working, and the time change may only make it worse.
Maybe your child doesn’t really have a bedtime or naptimes are all over the place. Maybe he is waking throughout the night way past when it’s developmentally expected. Maybe your child can only fall asleep holding your hand, at the breast, when you’re rocking him or dancing to music. Regardless of what it looks like, if your child’s current sleep situation is causing your child (and you) to be overtired, cranky, and frustrated, this might be a perfect time for a Sleep Consultation.
Diane Weiss, Weiss Pediatric Care’s Parenting and Child Development Specialist, is also one of a very small group of Certified Pediatric Sleep Consultants in Florida. Diane offers brief sleep consultations during routine office visits for Weiss Pediatric Care patients, and In-home and Skype Consultations through Forty Winks Sleep Consultancy. Sleep consultations are designed to help your child get the sleep he needs to be healthy in every way – physically, intellectually, emotionally and socially
You can learn more about Diane’s role as a parenting, child development, and sleep specialist at Weiss Pediatric Care and the practice’s comprehensive approach to pediatric care on our website, and on our Facebook page.
Wishing you great sleep and sweet dreams!
If you’re not already part of the Weiss Pediatric Care family, we’d love to meet you.
Stop by to say hi or give us a call at 941-552-8341 to schedule a complimentary Get Acquainted or Prenatal visit.