We all know that no matter what time we put our little ones down for bed, they will wake up at the same time, every morning. Unlike our alarm clocks, they do not come with snooze buttons. I have tried to snooze them by putting them into bed with me and pushing their sleep button on their forehead and unfortunately, this only creates a game and usually your eyeball is the loser in that game. So, as to not lose any more sleep hours, how can we adapt their sleep schedule for the different seasons?
If you are already struggling with getting your toddler or child into bed, and asleep without constant deliberations or procrastination, our certified sleep experts can help! This is after all, our specialty, and we can work with summer hours during our sleep training with your child.
We at Rocky Mountain Sleeping Baby are here to share with you just how easy it really is to adjust your child’s bedtime, and not create sleeping issues, or a rough adjustment when summer is over. Sleep training is safe, and effective, for you, and your little one.
Do you have memories from when you were little? I remember staying at the neighborhood pool our family belonged to for dinner and being able to swim after dinner, instead of going home to bed. I thought we were so lucky! As an added bonus, there was hardly anyone else, if anyone, in the kid pool. This meant we got the whole pool, the slide and all the toys, to ourselves! We also would go to the movies after dinner in the park once a week. There was just something about being awake when the sun set, watching the beautiful sky turn into dusk, and still being awake to see the light turn into dark as we drifted off to sleep.
With it being the first summer in a year or so, it is the perfect time to enjoy more activities outside of the house with your kiddos. With this, you may want to push back their bedtime an hour or so during the summer to take advantage of this opportunity. Here are some great tips on how to do just that.
Keep in mind, this is only ideal for toddlers and older children. As a certified sleep consultant, I do not recommend you doing this for your baby. As we have discussed before, the most common bedtime for your baby that you have created with your sleep consultant should remain the same as it is vital to their health, their sleep routine, and the amount of time they need for their sleep schedule.
While we go through the steps to adjust your child’s sleep schedule back sixty or eighty minutes, you need to keep in mind that their little internal clocks still may wake up at the same time, and this will probably not adjust with the later bedtime. As your child turns into a pre-teen or teenager, they are more likely start sleeping in later regardless of what time they go to bed as they need more sleep due to growth, metabolism, and health.
Adjusting your child’s sleep schedule takes a couple weeks to transgress to. Pick date and a time you want to start with and titrate up from there. Using 15–20-minute increments, start with 4-7 days to work in keeping them up those extra minutes you decided upon. If your child(ren) is adjusting well, and you find that they are waking up at the same time, or even giving you a few extra minutes to snooze, you can continue to titrate up. If they are struggling or are cranky, they may not be ready, and you may need to wait another year to start the adjustment.
It is not a good idea to start this summer sleep adjustment any later than the beginning of June. Summers are short and the hours slowly lose light as the months progress and with basically 10-12 weeks of summer, we need to remember we need to work the time back to our fall schedule and we will need adequate time to adjust to that, too.
If adjusting the time is going well, it is time to take it up another 15 to 20 minutes. Being a sleep training expert, I do not recommend moving the time up past 30 minutes during the adjustment time. This is to ensure your child is still getting sleep training benefits, monitor their mood and behavior the next few mornings and ensure they are still waking up at roughly the same time frame each morning, and they are not cranky or moody.
We still want to ensure that our original sleep goal is being met each night, and that with these adjustments we are not reducing the sleep they need. Continue to follow this pattern until you have met your goal bedtime and stay consistent with that as much as possible.
Once you have pushed back your child’s summer bedtime hours to the goal you set out, enjoy that extra time with them. They are growing up and these extra moments with them sure are special.
Once summer is starting to dwindle down and school is starting, and the hours are becoming shorter, it is time to start to titrate back down to a fall sleeping schedule. Following the same pattern that you used to work your way up, start with 15–20-minute increments again to work your way down. Again, you want to ensure they are still getting the amount of sleep they need, and that they are not wide-awake creating restlessness or unhealthy sleep patterns. If that does happen, start with a little less time frame, adjusting every 5-7 days.
If you need help, get in touch with one of our certified sleep experts at Rocky Mountain Sleeping Baby, and we are always happy to give you pointers or create a sleep guide for you to work with to help adjust your kiddo back to an earlier sleep schedule. We are certified sleep consultants who reside in Denver, though can work with families from any area as we offer consultations and online training to anyone, regardless of where you live!
We are always here to answer any questions you have, and to help in any way we can. Thank you for being a part of our family, and we look forward to sharing more helpful tips, soon!