I love the fall! Cool, crisp mornings, changing colors, a consistent routine with school and work – there’s just something in the air that is different. You tend to slow down a bit and enjoy.
Life is peaceful.
With this season change and transition into the winter months, we experience Daylight Savings. I’ll be honest, like many parents, daylight savings is something I typically despise. The transition of losing an hour of sleep and adjusting your circadian rhythms is exhausting and disruptive. Yet this year, this year I’m actually looking forward to it. I know! Call me crazy, but I’m excited for less conversations about “its’ bedtime based on the clock, not the sun” and instead saying “Oh look, it’s dark out. Time for bed.” I suppose it’s all how you look at it.
Either way, daylight savings is inevitable, so it’s important to evaluate your child’s sleep now or November 5th may be a harsh reality. As the late Benjamin Franklin once stated “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.”
In these last weeks heading up to the change asses your child’s sleeping habits; if they are an amazing sleeper, going to bed with ease and waking up at an appropriate time that is anything after 6:00am – then you’re golden! I wouldn’t even focus on the change until November 5th and instead ensure your child continues to be a great sleeper. A well-rested and amazing sleeper has a much easier time through this transition. If your on the latter side, struggling with sleep at bedtime, many night wakings, or the least desired issue – that dreaded 4:00-5:00am wake-up call that isn’t seemingly going away – I’d jump on sleep now. Instead of focusing on the change on November 5th, get serious about sleep now. Change sleep patterns and habits to help your child be a better sleeper prior to daylight savings…and in return you’ll have a child who can also ease through this transition.
Three simple questions and answers to help improve sleep immediately:
Is my child going to bed early enough?
Too late of a bedtime is the number one causes of poor sleep. When an appropriate bedtime is missed, cortisol levels spike in the evening hours and cause havoc on sleep for the next 24 hours. Your goal each evening is to have your child in bed before they achieve a second wind (otherwise known as a cortisol spike) in the evening. You do this and I guarantee you’ll have less sleep issues all around.
Does my child need multiple night feedings?
Absolutely, little babies can need 1-2 night feedings until around 9 months of age. Yet if your child is getting up more than 1-2 times a night or they are over 9 months of age with multiple night wakings, you may want to ask yourself “are these feedings necessary for survival or are they more for comfort?” (As always, consult your pediatrician for the overall growth and health of your baby to help determine the amount of needed night feedings). Comfort feedings are nice, yet they can also be a band-aid fix for poor sleepers that will never go away. Independent and consolidated night sleep is something we should teach our children – a life long skill to acquire. There are times in which unneeded night feedings interfere with consolidated sleep which has dramatic and detrimental affects on their health. Consolidated night sleep is as important as every other aspect of their health: nutrition, safety, vaccinations, etc. We often underestimate the value of consolidated sleep for our children – yet we know how crappy we feel when we’re waking 1, 2, 5 times a night. It’s exhausting and your child feels the same way. Consolidated night sleep leads to better sleep and overall health, not to mention more patient, adaptable and happier children. I bet you’d say the same about you too! 🙂.
When my child wakes early in the morning – am I responding to them consistently?
Consistency is huge. How you respond to your child for their early morning wakings dictates how easily they’ll soon be sleeping well into the 6:00am or 7:00am hour – or not. If one morning you bring them to bed, then the next morning you give them space, then the following morning you feed them – you’re child will be confused and have no idea what to expect for sleep. Children look to adults for guidance and understanding about their world and expectations, which includes sleep. If your little one is waking early, decide on a plan in which you’ll stick to and follow through any morning they wake up prior to 6:00am.
Remember sleep doesn’t change in a day, or even two days. Plan to work at improving your child’s sleep for a solid week to three weeks. There is no fix for bad sleep except time, patience and most importantly: consistency! Start now to make the November 5th Daylight Savings a breeze.
Through her informative and supportive blog posts and one-on-one help, she’s here to guide your child into restorative naps and peaceful nights - while making you wonder why you didn’t contact her sooner.
When she’s not consulting?You’ll find her hanging with her 2 children, getting her sweat on at the gym or baking and indulging in warm ooey-googey chocolate-chip cookies….hobbies that balance each other out!
Meet Valerie + prepare yourself for Amazing Sleep ahead…amazinglittlesleeper.com