Time Change

Spring Time Change - How to Survive!

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Spring isn’t apparent yet in Calgary. We just got another 18 cm of snow this past week on top of the 40 plus centimetres we got in February. I’m starting to wonder if I will ever see my garden again. I long for the carefree days of spring, no boots, coats, hat or mitts as I am sure you are as well.

But not to worry, signs that spring is coming are in the air. Spring officially starts March 20, 2018, we are starting to have warmer spells and are seeing snow starting to melt… Oh and every parent's favourite the spring time change March 11, 2018.

But take a deep breath. This may sound a little scary but it’s not too late to start to prepare your family. Keeping your family well rested is the best place to start.

Work with your partner and come up with a plan. Will you start to adjust your families’ body clock slowly starting on Wednesday or go cold turkey on Sunday morning? Either can work for your family but being prepared with a plan will allow you to more easily make the adjustments.

Most kids will take approximately a week to reset their body clocks. I would not suggest starting sleep training this week or make any other big changes in their life until they have made the adjustment.

Use what you have that works well for you. Use the same sleep cues and routines you already have in place.

  1. Snack and meal times are great clues for your child's internal body clock.

  2. Bedtime and nap routines - keep these routines in place. 

  3. Keep your sleep location consistent.

  4. Keep the sleep location dark. This is a great time to have blackout blinds. They were one of the best investments we ever made for our kids bedroom windows. Alternatively you can also use black garbage bags, cardboard and painters tape.

  5. An ‘okay to wake clock’ will also be a help to preschoolers and toddlers. They are a visual cue for them that it’s time to wake up.

  6. An early bedtime will also help make up for any lost sleep after the time change.

  7. Get outside. Sunlight will help reset your child's internal body clock. Okay yeah it's cold here but a short walk or open windows will also help .

If you want to start to prepare your child earlier start adjusting bedtime on the Wednesday before the time change by advancing bedtime 15 minutes earlier each night until the time change.  Try offering an extra few minutes in the bath or an extra story or song.

Wednesday Bedtime 6:45pm

Thursday Bedtime 6:30 pm

Friday Bedtime 6:15 pm

Saturday Bedtime 6:00 pm

Sunday Bedtime 7:00 pm

*Remember if you are moving bedtime you will need to adjust all naps as well.

This can be a rocky few weeks but having a plan for early waking and skipped naps will allow easier transition as you have support in decision making.

Happy Sleep

Alison xx

PS. I’m trained to help if you have trouble with this adjustment or any other sleep issues. I’m always available to set up a free 15 minute sleep consult. Contact me today.

 

 

 

How to Ease Children into the Fall Time Change

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November 5, 2017 at 2:00am, is the end of daylight savings and the joyous day of the year that you get an next hour of sleep…. Do you remember those days? They are a distant memory … Just like sleep, sleeping past 7am on the weekend for me.

The time change happens twice a year. If not prepared it can mess with everyone's sleep, especially childrens. We work so hard to get our children good quality sleep (night time and naps) along with a good routines. Changing sleep patterns, even by an hour can create challenges for your children.  

Adults usually take 1 day per hour of change while children can take a couple of weeks.  Even if it takes that long remember you will slowly get back into the routine.

The time change affects much more than just sleep. Our internal clocks take a few days to make the adjustments because our bodies are so complex. Sleep has a role in appetite, drive for rest, moods, emotions, immune system, stress, memory, learning and the list goes on.

#1 - Be prepared -understanding the complexity of sleep and creating a plan to systematically guide your children through this time change will help everyone. It will take a little work, but once they adjust they will be back to normal sleep patterns.

#2 - Learn from our children's past (if applicable) -  How have your kids adjusted to time changes? Have you tried to handle it cold turkey and run into problems? Have you had success with a gradual transition? If something has worked for your child this is a great starting point.  Building on your past experiences can help you create a plan for this year.

#3 - Use your current routine Your current sleep routine provides sleep cues for your children and helps them know it’s time to relax and sleep. Continue to use what they know and understand.

#4 - Give yourself time to make the time change adjustment A week to 3 days will help to make the change gradually and thus have less of an impact on your day to day life. See the examples at the end of this post.

#5 - Everyone is different Every child is different. Some kids are hardly bothered by the time change while other kids can be thrown for days. Try not to plan very busy days or important activities. Relax and let them adjust.  Follow your kids’ lead and watch for the sleep signs. (extra cranky and rubbing eyes).

#6 - Have a plan Just like sleep training by having a plan you have an increased chance of staying on track. You know what to expect with early wakings and when naps should be each day. Being organized really helps everyone adjust to make this a straightforward transition.

Conclusion
Be prepared, have a plan, start early, relax and continue to believe that you will get through the transition.

If you miss the boat entirely and all hell breaks loose for your family you can slowly adjust bedtimes after the time change.  The time change can be hard on everyone.

I’m always here to help. Feel free to leave a question on my Facebook page @cheekysleeper or email me at alison@cheekysleeper.com

xx Alison
 

Gradual bedtimes the week leading up to a time change to allow for a gradual introduction of adjusting bedtime.

Sunday Bedtime : 7:00 pm
Monday Bedtime : 6:50 pm
Tuesday Bedtime : 6:40 pm
Wednesday Bedtime : 6:30 pm
Thursday Bedtime : 6:20 pm
Friday Bedtime : 6:10 pm
Saturday Bedtime : 6:00 pm
Sunday Bedtime : 7:00 pm

*All naps and wake ups should be adjust approximately 10 minutes.
** If you start on Wednesday adjust 15 minutes a day for both naps and bedtime