It happened again. While we moms were thinking about costumes and candy, the end of Daylight Saving Time snuck up on us! “Falling back” each year means the kids have a tendency to “fall back” into a pattern of getting up early in the morning and wearing out early in the evening.
In a perfect world, we should start adjusting our kids a week to ten days before the time change by putting them to bed 10 or so minutes later each night. (Next year’s time change is Sunday, November 6th. Put a reminder on your calendar for late October!)
But all isn’t lost if we haven’t started gradual adjustments to our kids’ sleeping schedules. A few steps can help us all adapt:
The kids will start getting tired earlier in the evening, and they may struggle to stay awake until their normal bedtime. It’s ok to put them to bed early if they can’t stay awake. Otherwise, set up a time for quiet activity, like reading a book, coloring or singing songs. Try to avoid exercise and stimulating activities for three hours before bedtime.
Stick to the Routine
Whether they’re going to bed early or on-time, it’s important to stick to your bedtime routine. If you don’t have one, this is a good time to establish one. Include bathtime, putting on pjs and brushing teeth. Routines help kids know what to expect. And when they know what to expect, are less likely to fight bedtime.
Start the Day Right
Hopefully, the kids will “sleep in” and not get you up an hour earlier Sunday morning. Either way, it’s important to start the day with a healthy breakfast. Food signals to the body it’s time to get up and get moving, and it’ll help fuel them to what will feel like a later bedtime.
Easier said than done, right? Everyone is adjusting to the new sleep schedules- parents included. That means we’re all a bit grouchy and irritable. It’ll take about a week for everyone to adjust, no matter their age.