Every parent knows that Daylight Savings wreaks havoc on children’s sleep schedules. While many may look forward to the extra hour of sleep and dread losing one, parents just dread it in general no matter if they should be gaining or losing sleep. They know they ultimately will deal with battles with their kids as their schedules get thrown off an hour and they spend the next week or two trying to get them back on track all while dealing with meltdowns and bedtime mishaps. This year get ahead of the game with smart strategies to help keep your kids on schedule and avoid the sudden upset of Daylight Savings time. Here are some great tips and free printables to help get you through Daylight Savings this weekend! Don’t forget to set your clocks ahead on Saturday night!
First off it’s so important to have a bedtime routine established with your kids. They should know what to expect and have a routine to follow that ultimately ends with them going to bed. Here is a free printable “How do you wind down” chart. Your kids can mark off the tasks as they do them and establish a great bedtime routine. This is great for kids that love to whine “I don’t want to go to bed!”. By giving them tasks to complete they have something else to focus their attention on other than impending bedtime. Click the link or the picture above to print your own chart!
What our children eat also plays an important role in how well they sleep. This chart helps illustrate what foods should be eaten at what time of day. You can print it off by clicking here or clicking the photo above. Starting in the late afternoon you should avoid feeding your children any caffeine or sugar. If you find that eating dinner gives your child their second wind then consider moving dinner time to 3 hours before bedtime. I find that full belly’s tend to wind my kids down and not up but every child is different. Before bed my kids like to play the “I’m hungry!” card so be sure to offer a snack one hour before bedtime to avoid moving bedtime back in order to feed them a bedtime snack. Your bedtime routine should begin 30 minutes before bedtime in order to have plenty of time to complete the routine and be to bed on time.
Right now I’m struggling to get Carson, my 2 year old, to nap every day. My kids generally do well at bedtime but his nap time is a struggle lately. I’m using this Sleep Reward Chart to help encourage him to take a good nap each day. This chart is great for naps or bedtime struggles. It’s amazing what some stars and working towards a reward can do to motivate a child even as young as 2 years old. My kids love working towards a reward and I’m always amazed at what they will do to earn their stars whether it is completing chores or sleeping well. You can print the Sleep Reward Chart by clicking the link or the photo above.
Is your child getting enough sleep? Ever wonder what time bedtime should be? Check out the chart above to see how many hours your little one should be snoozing each night. Set the bedtime accordingly.
Once you’ve established good bedtime routines then you need to focus on keeping them up at Daylight Savings time. The week before you set your clocks back start adjusting bedtime in short 10-15 minute intervals. If bedtime is usually at 7pm but you will be setting the clocks ahead for Daylight Savings time then start putting your kiddo to bed at 7:15pm and work your way towards 8pm so that by the time you set your clocks ahead they have already adjusted to the schedule. This way instead of waking up at an odd time or being crabby because they went to bed an hour late, they will already be adjusted to the schedule. Since you did it in 10-15 minute intervals over the course of a week it won’t mess up their schedules like changing by a whole hour in one night would.
If your little one is having trouble sleeping then consider using a natural sleep remedy like Zarbees Naturals Children’s Sleep. Zarbee’s Sleep is a safe and effective remedy for occasional sleeplessness. Sleep contains clinically proven melatonin to promote restful sleep along with l-theanine to aid relaxation. The ingredients in Zarbee’s Sleep are natural, non-habit forming and won’t leave you feeling groggy the next day. Your child can fall asleep easily and wake up well rested!
While some melatonin can come from animals, Zarbees has selected an exceptionally pure, synthetic source not derived from animals. It is virtually identical to what your body naturally releases as part of its sleep cycle to help promote restful sleep. It’s safe for children and developed by a Physician looking to create natural remedies for his own children. Zarbee’s Naturals Children’s Sleep (for children 3 years +) helps reset the occasional hiccups in bedtime routines, like Daylight Savings Time, traveling and even sleepovers.
Zarbee’s Naturals will be sharing sleep tips throughout this week on their Facebook and Twitter platforms. Dr. Zak (the doctor behind Zarbee’s) will also be hosting a special Daylight Savings recovery chat on Twitter, Sunday March 9th at 7 PM ET to answer any real time sleep questions from their @zarbees handle.