Transitions

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

Bye Bye Crib - tips for transitioning Crib to a Bed

Preparing your child for the transition from crib to bed is a scary milestone for many parents and a challenge I am working on with my own child at the moment with this very transition.

I am a very big believer in waiting to transition your toddler until they are 2.5- 3 years. Many people start the transition prior to this for many reasons, including welcoming a new child or having a climber. If you are welcoming a new child I highly recommend if you can just get a second crib. Maintaining a safe place to put your older child can be invaluable for the first months after welcoming your new baby. If you have an early climber (like mine) establish a firm rule of “no climbing” to keep this at bay. If this is happening at night this can also be addressed with a silent return. If they continue than for everyones peace of mind making an early transition might be needed.

My youngest “A” is 2.7 months old now. She is mature enough to understand sleep rules. She is an excellent sleeper and clearly ready to proceed to a bed. “A” is toilet trained, is a skilled crib climber and uses the ends like a ladder.

To prepare her for the transition to a bed have started to introduce a ready to wake clock while she is still in her crib.  In addition we will be moving many of her toys and books out of her room. This is two fold. First is to reduce the number of distractions in her room and second to ensure her room is safe for her to roam around in without our watchful eye.t is also recommended to secure closet doors and ensure all furniture is secured to the walls.

Start an open dialogue with your family about sleep rules. Have a family meeting to talk about sleep. What are your family rules.  “Stay in your bed until Mom and Dad get you.” “You  can always get up to use the washroom” “Allow others to sleep.” Explain why sleep is important to everyone. By 2.5 years a child should be able to understand these types of basic rules.

Start to create excitement for your child in growing up. Let them help you by picking out new big kid bedding, help with decor or even a special new lovey to keep them company. Talk about how this is another step in becoming a big kid. Her new bed is close to the ground so I don’t have to worry about huge falls. Alternatively place your mattress on the floor to allow time for your child to become more comfortable with sleeping in a bed not a crib.

As parents you need to be ready for a few rocky days during the transition. Come up with a written approach of how you will deal with night waking, bedtime pop-ups and the early wakings. All of these are normal occurrences. Your child has a new level of freedom and will your limits. Maintain a clear and consistent approach to all these challenges to allow you to quickly deal with any problems. You know I am always here if you need any additional support.

As I enter this new stage of parenting I am preparing. No Cribs and No Diapers. Wow how did this happen so fast!!!!! I admit to feeling apprehensive but am systematically getting ready as she is ready. Wish me luck as I wish you luck. If you need any additional support during this transition or any other please feel free to reach out. I'm happy to help 

xx Alison