Daylight Savings Time
Daylight Savings Time is fast approaching. This year we will be setting our clocks forward an hour on Sunday, November 5, 2017, at 2:00 AM. This transition can affect children differently. Some children will barely notice a difference and some children may take a week or two to adjust to the new time. Parents with early risers are often worried about the “fall back” because their child will be waking up an hour earlier. Here are some tips on how to handle this transition.
Gradual Approach: This is often used with children who are younger and have difficulties with transitions and new routines. Starting the Thursday before, change your child’s wake up time, nap time, and bedtime back by 15 minutes each day. This will make it an easier transition for the time change and your child will not feel such a drastic change.
Cold Turkey Approach: This is usually best when used with children over the age of two. Using this approach, you will continue with your regular routines and schedule according to the new time. This works well with children who do not have a tough time with transitions and changes.
Here are a few extra tips:
- Sunlight: Exposing your child to sunshine first thing in the morning will help to get your child’s internal body clock adjusted. Opening windows for light and getting fresh air first thing in the morning is very beneficial to their circadian rhythm.
- Room Darkening Shades: When adjusting to the new time of Daylight Savings Time, these shades can make a huge difference. Seeing as though it will be darker for bedtime and lighter for wake up time, these shades will block out that light and help your child get the good rest they need. I highly recommend these in each child’s room!
- Flexibility: Remember your child’s sleep may be a little off at bedtime for a few days. Try to be patient and keep up with the consistent bedtime routines. Avoid bright lights and limit exposure to electronics well before bed. This transition time is typically resolved within a week.
Four years ago while preparing to become a mother for the first time I felt nervous, excited, and overwhelmed all at the same time just like everyone else. One of the most common sayings that people would tell me was, “get your sleep now because once your baby is here it will be long gone”. This advice proved to be only partly true in my case. I loved becoming a mother and enjoyed learning along the way. However, the sleep was lacking due to my inexperience and not knowing or understanding any of the basic sleep skills for my baby.
My husband is in the military and deployed overseas shortly after our baby was born. The short feedings in the middle of the night developed into him sleeping with me, which quickly turned into bed sharing all of the time. After doing this for a while it became our regular routine and at 8 months old my son had never slept in his crib. Both of us needed to rest better and I wanted him to learn how to sleep in his crib. I attempted to sleep train him on my own and was unsuccessful because I couldn’t stand to leave him in there crying.
Everything changed after I heard about a Gentle Sleep Coach in my area and decided to contact her. We had a phone consultation where his sleep habits were reviewed and she gave me a detailed sleep plan to follow. The program was custom built for us and I quickly realized that you do not have to let my child “cry it out” to sleep train them. Every piece of advice she gave was followed, and in a very short amount of time my son was sleeping in his crib for all of his naps and at bedtime. I was extremely happy and relieved that we were both getting a full nights rest and he was also beginning to love his crib! To this day he is still sleeping wonderfully and I am positive this outcome came from the tips and advice that was learned from our Gentle Sleep Coach.
A few years later we had our precious daughter and I immediately incorporated similar tips and techniques to establish healthy sleep habits for her. Everything that was learned from my sleep coach and read in Kim West’s, “Good Night Sleep Tight” book helped me tremendously. Friends were continuously asking me about sleep training and what had worked for my family. I found a great satisfaction from sharing my story and passing on what I had learned about sleep to help others. I decided that becoming a sleep coach would be a perfect journey for me to take, so I enrolled in the Gentle Sleep Coach program taught by Kim West. This course was wonderful and it showed me all the tools, knowledge, and resources needed to help families with their children’s sleep troubles. I full heartedly believe in our philosophy and know firsthand that this process works!! I am dedicated to helping families get more sleep and am forever grateful I took that first step and hired a Gentle Sleep Coach!