In the fall we are hit with a double whammy, and the sleep gods are not on our side. We have to change our clocks AND we have Halloween. On Halloween children everywhere will be going to bed much later than usual with bellies full of candies, and on top of that... Hey! Let’s mess around with their internal sleep clocks!
Now in the BK era – "Before Kids" – we could enjoy that extra hour and bask in slumberville. Now that we have kids, the fall time change is the most terrifying time of the year – minus the ghosts and ghouls.
Moving the clocks back could mean early morning wakings and late bedtime battles for our little ones. If your child is more sensitive to these time shifts, it’s best to take the gradual approach. A few days before the actual time change, shift your routine later by 15 minutes each day, even going as far as shifting your little ones entire day-to-day routine later, including naptimes and meal times. So your normal naptime of 9 AM will get moved to 9:15 AM, and so on. Then once the clocks "fall back" your child will already be adjusted.
Want to know what we do at our house?
Two times a year when the clocks shift, we just hold on tight and adjust to the new times. It’s the easiest route to take, and if you think that your child can manage just switching to the new times, it may be the best route for you to take for your family, too. You may have a fussy little one for a few days, maybe up to a week, but they will adapt provided you remain consistent.
Remember: these time changes don’t only affect our children. It can also be a tough adjustment for us parents.
Don’t be fooled into thinking since we have an “extra hour” we can stay up later and sleep in more in the morning. To help adjust your own body clock quickly, stick to your same routine and go to bed at the same time each night (even though it will be darker earlier) and wake up at the same time in the morning. It shouldn’t take longer than a week for you to adapt as well.
Consistency is key in whichever approach you take. We always manage to get through this time of year unharmed! Remember my two favourite words. Persistence and consistency! You got this - candy overload and all.