Helping your child ‘fall back’

Daylight Savings Time ends on Nov. 1 this year, bringing a glorious hour of extra sleep.

Daylight Savings Time ends on Nov. 1 this year, bringing a glorious hour of extra sleep.

Unless you’re a parent.

Setting the clocks back can disrupt a child’s circadian rhythm, resulting in earlier mornings, crankiness, and exhaustion by dinner time. So how should parents of babies and small children navigate the time change? Here is what I recommend:

Prepare for Success

First, leave the clocks alone until everyone is up for the day. It can be very frustrating to see your children up an hour earlier than normal. Just get up at your usual time, have a cup of coffee and some breakfast, then go around changing the clocks.

“Split the Difference” for naps and bedtime

On Nov. 1-3, put your children to bed 30 minutes earlier than usual. This will feel like 30 minutes later, so be prepared for some extra tiredness. It may be a push, but it won’t be so dramatic as to damage their schedule. Examples: If first nap is at 10 a.m., put them down at 9:30 for three days. If bedtime is 7 p.m., it will now be 7:30 p.m. for three days. On the fourth day move back to normal naps and bedtime.

Starting Nov. 2, gradually delay morning wake-ups

For older toddlers and small children try putting a digital clock in their room with the minutes covered. Teach them that they need to stay in bed until they see the “7” and set the time on the clock later each day. Another option many of my clients have success with is using a “sleep clock” such as the Gro Clock. These light up at your pre-set morning time.

For babies, you will need to take a more gradual approach with mornings. On the first morning after the time change (Nov. 2) you don’t want to rush in and confirm that 5:30 is now a great time to get up. Allow them to babble/fuss for 10 minutes, then get them up and start their day with bright light, cheerfulness and activity. On the second morning, wait up to 20 minutes past their old wake-up time. On the third morning, wait 30 minutes, and so on for a week. By the end of the week, your baby’s schedule should be adjusted and they should be waking up at their usual time again.

Our bodies require roughly one week to adjust to any change in sleep habits, so be patient and give your children time to make the shift. Within a few days their sleep will be on track, your mornings will be back to normal, and you’ll all be sleeping better.

-Jillian Christjansen, RN, BSN is an infant and child sleep consultant.

 

Just Posted

Wildfire sparks near perimeter of devastating 2017 Elephant Hill fire

Ground crews and aircraft are responding to an estimated 50 hectare wildfire approximately 55 kilometers northwest of Kamloops, near the Deadman Vidette Road.

Okanagan Regional Library names new CEO

Don Nettleton, who has been with ORL for 24 years, takes over from Stephanie Hall

Market welcomes talking giraffe

Artists’ animated collaborative work comes to life at Westgate Public Market

Stolen vehicle evades attempt to spike tires near Sicamous

RCMP are looking for a black late 1990s Ford pickup with a suspension lift and no licence plates

CP vote deadline rescheduled for Friday

The deadline for the Teamsters Canada Rail Conference and International Brotherhood of… Continue reading

They came for a good time on Shuswap Lake

Trooper plays for hundreds on Shuswap Lake this past May Long weekend

Olympian to lead Penticton Peach Festival parade

One of the top bobsled pilots in the world will lead the Peters Bros. Grand Parade

Two-year-old found unresponsive in pool

Mission RCMP located toddler after she went missing from a local daycare

Surrey RCMP issue warning after third sexual assault this week

It is the third sexual assault since Sunday

Toronto opening 800 emergency spaces to deal with influx of refugee claimants

Beginning Thursday, Toronto will temporarily house refugee claimants and new arrivals in 400 beds in the city’s east end.

Breaking: Trump cancels summit with North Korea

Trump cancels June 12 summit with North Korea’s Kim, citing ‘tremendous anger and open hostility’ in recent statement

Rivers rising: Floods in B.C., New Brunswick a warning of what’s to come

In B.C., thousands of residents are returning to homes this week marked with red or yellow signs indicating a health inspection is necessary

North Korea demolishes nuke test site with series of blasts

North Korea has carried out what it says is the demolition of its nuclear test site in the presence of foreign journalists.

Penticton homeless campers devastated by park cleanup

Two women, in their 50s and 60s, said they felt like giving up after their only home was cleared out

Most Read