Many people without children or parents of older children are very looking forward to ending Daylight Saving Time (who wouldn’t like to be able to sleep one more hour!). Things can be a little bit different when you already have early risers, in the process of sleep coaching or just when you want to avoid any overtiredness in your children.
What will happen on the last Sunday of October?
On Sunday, the 29th of October this year, our clocks will be moved backward.
At 3 am, it will be 2 am.
Sunrise and sunset will then happen 1 hour earlier than the day before and we will then appreciate more light in the morning!
If you’re lucky, your child will suddenly sleep an hour more. But for most of the children, it will not happen.
You can always go cold turkey and switch them to the new time the day after the change happens.
But if you’re looking for a more progressive approach, here is how to handle it!
It’s quite simple actually.
- You will start the process the week before the time change.
Every day before the change, move bedtime 10-15 minutes later. Your goal is to get to bedtime on D-day 1 hour “later”.
For example, if your child usually goes to bed at 7 pm:
- Thursday the 26th of October: put your child to bed at 7.15 pm
- Friday the 27th: bedtime will be at 7.30 pm
- Saturday the 28th: bedtime at 7.45 pm
- Sunday the 29th: bedtime at 8 pm
This way, when you put your child at 8 pm “old-time” on Monday the 31st of October, your child will be in bed at 7 pm winter time.
You’re back on track and your regular schedule can then go on like before 😊
2. Slowly move the whole schedule (including naps, meals, etc)
Because we want to avoid our children being overtired and would like the process to be smooth, you will also slowly shift the daytime schedule, which means slowly and regularly moving everything later day by day, including naps, meals, etc.
This way, the time they spend awake isn’t really different.
3. If your child temporarily becomes an early rise, practice “dramatic wakeups”
The time change can temporarily affect the wake-up time of sensitive children. If that happens in your family, practice “dramatic wakeup”.
If your child wakes up too early (=before 6 am), go to the bedroom or crib, keep the environment dark and comfort them and encourage them to go back to sleep or at least stay calm in bed until 6 am at least.
Your child goes back to sleep? Awesome!
He doesn’t? that’s fine, don’t worry, just bring comfort and help him soothe until his regular wakeup time. Then leave the room for a full minute (Yes, 60 seconds!), enter back, and start the day with a cheerful “good morning”, open the curtains, turn on the lights, etc.
Your child’s body clock will progressively adapt to the new time.
Here are also some useful tips:
- Naps are important. A well-rested child will adapt more easily. So on the days you start to adapt to the new time, do your maximum to have them nap properly, avoiding them getting to bedtime too tired. Don’t hesitate to add a short bonus nap if you feel your child needs it.
- Go outside or expose your child to the sunlight in the morning! This will help reset his body clock.
- Pay attention to your children’s wake window (time they spend awake between naps or nap and bedtime). Watch your children and the clock, it will be the best indication!
Despite this advice, your child’s sleep is still a bit disturbed? Relax, that’s absolutely normal and happens to the best of us 😊
Be consistent, and follow your regular routine, things will fall back into place in a few days.
And as usual, don’t hesitate to contact me if you’re confused or want to chat!