The dreaded time change is upon us. For the 2020 year, it falls on November 1st. By this time you are doing your best to keep your toddler on a schedule and then right after preschool starts everything goes haywire due to the time change. So how do you help your toddler easily adjust to the time change?
In the fall, the clocks will be set back an hour. This used to be our favorite time, we gain a whole hour. You wake up thinking you need to get up and remember you have another hour. Yay, more sleep! Well, not anymore, since you are now a parent to a toddler.
With a toddler involved this is no longer the best time. They end up getting crankier earlier in the night. Then they wake up way earlier and don’t want to go back to sleep. It can be hard for all involved.
How do you help your toddler with time change?
If you start adjusting before the time change add 15 minutes to their bedtime, so put them to bed 15 minutes later than normal. The next night add another 15 minutes for a total of 30 minutes later than normal.
Normal Bedtime 7:30pm
1st night bedtime 7:45pm
2nd night bedtime 8:00pm
3rd night bedtime 8:15pm
4th night bedtime 8:30pm which has now changed to 7:30pm
The key is to slowly change their routine so they don’t feel like it is changing. Read a couple more books or give them a few extra snuggle minutes.
How do you help them not wake so early?
Be sure to get some darkened curtains so that it stays darker in their room a little longer. Blackout shades or curtains are great to have any way to make sure your toddler doesn’t wake up at the first glimpse of light.
These blackout curtains are amazing. They come in all different sizes, colors, and are machine washable, perfect for any room.
If you have a time-to-rise clock in your child’s room, you can just adjust their wake up time in 15 min. increments each day until they are back to their normal wake up time.
If you don’t have one I highly recommend the Hatch Baby Rest Sound Machine, Night Light, and Time-to-Rise. It is awesome! Not only is it a sound machine and a night light, but it changes colors to let your toddler know it is okay to get out of bed. You can adjust the time you want them to rise by 15 min. each morning until they are back to their normal time to wake.
How do you help toddlers adjust after a time change?
If the time change already happened, you do the same thing but in reverse.
Normal bedtime: 7:30pm
After time change bedtime is now 6:30pm
1st bedtime after time change: 6:45pm
2nd bedtime after time change: 7:00pm
3rd bedtime after time change: 7:15pm
4th bedtime after time change: 7:30pm
How long will it take toddlers to adjust to a time change?
It will take your toddler about a week to fully adjust to the time change. Just make sure to slowly adjust their schedule in the morning and night in increments so their internal clocks have some time to adjust.
It is important to keep routines throughout the day as normal as possible. Here are some great Toddler Activities to keep them busy throughout the day. Keep naps at the same time if they are still taking them. For the week following the time change, you may notice your toddler be a little extra cranky. Bare with them and help them to adjust.
Also, if they already have a bedtime that is too late for your liking and you have been trying to get them to go to bed earlier, this is the perfect time for that. If they haven’t been getting to bed till close to 9 pm, keep their bedtime the same and don’t adjust. Their bedtime is now going to be 8 pm from here on out. Win, win!