Spring has sprung and with the recent change from Daylight Savings Time, sleep routines can sometimes suffer. The daylight hours are longer, the mornings are darker and getting little ones adjusted to new sleep routines can be challenging. Even as adults we sometimes feel ‘off’ for a few weeks with time changes to our daily routines.
Here are a few tips you can use to help your child adjust to the time change and get into a solid sleep routine:
- Slow and steady. Just because the clock turned ahead an hour doesn’t mean your child will just go to sleep at their usual time. It’s a gradual process. Try implementing new bedtimes in 15 minute increments (this goes for ‘falling back’ an hour, too). It’s not as much of a shock to their system if they’re easing into the new routine.
- Lighting logistics. Keep the room as dark as possible in evening to help them adjust to going to sleep when it’s still light outside. Blackout shades or even facing their beds away from light sources like a window can help.
- Eliminating Electronics. Make sure – whether it’s adjusting to a new sleep routine or not – you always have your child free of electronic devices at least 30 minutes before bedtime. The glowing light of screens keep kids’ brains active and alert, preventing the natural sleep hormone (melatonin) from indicating it’s time to sleep.
Most of all, have patience. Sleep routines and young children naturally change as they develop. The more frustration they sense from you over their sleep habits, the worse the problem can get. Take care of yourself as much as possible so you’re ready to face each day and each new challenge as it comes!