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.
Snack and meal times are great clues for your child's internal body clock.
Bedtime and nap routines - keep these routines in place.
Keep your sleep location consistent.
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.
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.
An early bedtime will also help make up for any lost sleep after the time change.
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.
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.