It’s daylight savings time again. This time of year I receive many calls from parents wondering how to keep their child from getting up way too early in the morning. Worry not, these simple tips for babies (6 months and older) and toddlers will help you stay on track with your good sleep habits. Give your children a few days to settle in to the new time.
1. Put your child(ren) to bed on Saturday night (10/31) at the regular time.
2. Wake up with your child(ren) at the normal wake up time on Sunday morning (11/1).
3. Set your clocks back one hour. This is where you stretch.
4. Put your child(ren) down for the first nap at the regular time per the clock.** This will mean that s/he has been awake a full hour longer during this window and may need some help to stretch. Going outside and getting lots of sunlight and fresh air is a great way to keep kids awake when you’re stretching them.
5. Follow the clock for naps and bedtime from here forward. It can take a few days for your child to fully adjust, so be patient and consistent.
**Younger children may have a harder time stretching a full hour without becoming overtired. In this case it may be better to stretch them 30 minutes in the morning and 30 minutes in the afternoon or to stretch them slowly over several days.