A common and often frustrating or anxiety inducing change which many parents face is to transition through time changes such as daylight savings.
Now, if you are in Queensland or the Northern Territory, this adjustment isn't something you have to worry about however for the remainder of Australia is it, so below are a few of our top tips on how to help ease through this transition.
When Does Daylight Savings Occur?
In 2008, various state governments agreed to help standardise daylight savings by introducing start and end dates. So, every year daylight savings ends on the first Sunday in April (April 1st, 2018) and begins on the first Sunday in October (7th 2018).
Beginning in 2008, the various state governments agreed to standardise daylight saving start and end dates, with the result being that daylight saving begins on the first Sunday in October and ends on the first Sunday in April.
Knowing these dates allows us to prepare for this transition early and help to settle our little ones into this change gradually.
Moving Sleep Backwards As Clocks Go Forward
When you are moving the clocks forward and hour (when daylight savings starts) it can be blissful knowing that your little ones wake time may change from 6:30am to 7:30am and many parents won't feel the need to make any routine adjustments.
It is important to remember however, that this then means that their usual bed time of 6:30pm will become 7:30pm. Again, some parents may be content in keeping this in place, while other families may prefer to shift their little ones routine back to 6:30am-6:30pm.
You may find that this naturally occurs over the space of a few weeks. However, if you are wanting to help your little one progress through this transition sooner, you can look at gradually bringing your little ones bed time forward, by 10-15 minutes every few days, in the weeks leading up to April.
You can also look at waking your little one at 6:30am (daylight savings time) and placing them down at 6:30pm that night. It can take a few days for your little ones body-clock to reset, so allow for time, persistence and consistency and you will see your little one gradually adjust.
Moving Sleep Forward As Clocks Go Backwards
While most parents will find the transition into Daylight savings easy, many parents are faced with early morning rising when daylight savings comes to an end. For example, if your little one is sleeping in until 6:30am, once daylight savings ends this than means your little one is waking at 5:30am.
For this reason, many parents are happy not to adjust their little one's routines once daylight savings starts and then stops, however if you are finding that your little one has developed early morning rising due to daylight savings ending, below are a few helpful tips for you to implement.
Much like when daylight savings begun (and you turned your clock forward an hour) you can look at gradually changing your little ones bed time to prepare them for the time change.
You may like to do this by pushing your little ones bed time back 10-15 minutes every few days leading up to October until you have reached a 7:30pm bed time. Once daylight savings ends, this will then mean your little one is ready for bed by 6:30pm and waking at 6:30am.
When making adjustments to your little ones morning wake and overnight sleep time, it is also important o be mindful of the wake period, you may need to distract your child actively to help him or her make it closer to the new nap time . This may take some time for you son or daughter to adapt, and may feel tricky but holding off that day sleep to produce the "correct" wake period will be helpful in resetting the body clock.
You may also like to refer to our blog on early rising for added tips and tricks.
Other Tips + Tricks
While these gradually transitions will work for some, some little ones may get "stuck" and continue to wake at 5:30am despite the adjustment to bed time.
If this is occurring, it is important to objectively assess what could else may be contributing and often it can take some trial and error, with persistence and consistency to help your little one sleep well and sleep in.
If your toddler or baby is having difficulty with sleeping, we suggest to utilise the Sleep Mama Program. These programs will help you to assess other contributing factors, such as settling, sleep environment and routine and provide you with kind and gentle tools to help adjust these areas and improve the quality of your little ones sleep.
You can view our Programs below.
Each online program comes with access to unlimited online support for the duration of your program! This means we are able to answer any questions that you may have throughout your journey and this also allows us to provide you with tailored, one on one online support.
If you do have any questions about the programs, or whether they are suitable for you and your little one, please don't hesitate to contact through the button below, or by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org
If your little love is waking early, 4-6:00am I suggest looking at the below tips:
- Avoid offering breakfast or milk at this time. If you begin making breakfast or milk happen earlier, it will reinforce the wake for your child.
- You can trial allowing time to resettle independently if your son or daughter is not distressed. If just calling out occasionally you can leave them be and see how long they'll stay and if they go back to sleep
- If your child is quick to become upset, you may like to enter the room quickly and assisting them by applying the resettle to their back, giving verbal instructions and encouragement. Some toddlers and babies will settle with this and others will become TOO engaged and will not settle.
- The sleep environment is really important. Assess your child's environment at the time of waking. If you can objectively assess the room you may notice little wake up triggers occurring around the same time and can then make appropriate changes and provisions.
Is natural light peeping in?
Is a neighbour noisily leaving for work?
Are birds singing?
- It's also worth keeping track of how much sleep is occurring in 24 hour period.
- Keep in mind that biologically many children are set to wake between 6-6:30am.
- Rituals can help your toddler when to expect bed time such as reading a book, looking at the moon and saying goodnight to pets and toys
- Block out blinds are great for helping a little one sleep later and also going to bed sooner
- You may like to consider using a The Gro Clock displays a sun when it is time for your toddler to wake up. This will of course be dependant on your child's personality and age. We have two boys that respond really well to this type of guideline.
- Creating another signal to your child that it's time to get up such as:
"When Mum or Dad opens the door, it is time to get up"
"When the door is open or the hallway light is on you can hop up and start the day but when the door is closed and the light is off it is time to stay in bed".
I hope these tips have been helpful and remember, if you do have any questions, please don't hesitate to contact us.