Winter time and your child’s sleep schedule
After Your babies and toddlers are into their routine again after the summer holidays yet another change that is most likely going to affect their sleep, which is winter time. I say likely here because some children are not affected at all by this change, and they adjust their biological clocks by themselves. You are lucky if you have one of these children. As for the other moms, including myself, you can find below some tips that will help you in preventing the early wake ups and the crankiness that result from the change to winter time.
To explain: if your children wakes up at 6 AM for example and weren’t able to adjust by themselves to the new wintertime, then they will start waking up at 5 AM. Why? Because it feels like 6 AM to them, and the fact of the matter is that it was 6 AM just a day or two ago.
So what can you do:
- Try pushing all your child's schedule by a full hour, starting gradually 10 days or a week ahead of the time of change. For example start with pushing the nap time so it starts 10 to 15 minutes later than it is scheduled. Also push meal time and bedtime by the same interval. If you think your child will be very cranky, try to push the schedule by 10 minutes only at a time. At the time of the change your child in the example above will wake up 6:45AM or ideally 7AM, which means that after the time change takes effect, the wake up time will be at 6 AM.
- During the time when your child is awake, make sure they get plenty of exposure to play and daylight during that period. This will help your child get better quality of sleep during the night.
- It is going to be more difficult for early risers, because it means that 5 AM will become 4AM. Ouch! However you can make it easier for them by implementing the first step above and hoping for the best.
The need for continuous changes in your child’s sleep schedule may seem frustrating sometimes, but a bit of organization and management go a long way. And in the end you reap the results of your efforts when you see your child well rested and thriving.