Daylight savings time is right around the corner (November 4th for those of you who haven’t marked your calendars yet) and as the mother of a toddler it can be a frustrating time of year. The sleep schedules that we depend on often derail as everyone’s bodies try to adjust to the change (mine included).
My daughter is 3.5 so we’re still fairly new to this time shift. I was thrilled to see some tips from THE PAJANIMALS sleep time experts, Jennifer Waldburger and Jill Spivack from Sleepy Planet. They offer these four simple steps to transition your child through the time change:
Step One: It’s the Clocks! On Saturday, November 3, put your children to sleep at their normal bedtime. If it’s typically 7:30 p.m., stick with that. Then before you go to sleep, move every clock in your house back one hour.
Step Two: Early Wake Up – Your child will most likely wake up at the normal time, only you and your clock know it’s an hour earlier. No easy work-arounds here, so you’ll just have to take one for the team and get up early with the kids. It’s not realistic to ask them to stay in bed an extra hour so forget about going back to sleep.
Step Three: Stick to the Schedule – As difficult as it may seem, stay with your regular schedule. If you normally serve lunch at noon, then eat at noon. Your child will likely be ready to eat earlier, at 11am, but a midmorning snack will help stave off hunger. And the same goes for naptime. Keep your child busy until it’s time to nap, even if they start to slow down an hour earlier.
Step Four: Keep ‘em up – Bedtime should be at 7:30 p.m. as usual (or whatever time it is in your home), eventhough your child may feel sleepy earlier. They may be cranky and tired, but do your best to go by the time on the clock. And hopefully their little internal body clocks are adjusting to the time difference without them even knowing it.
It may take a couple of nights, but if you try to continue with your routine as usual, you and your child should be enjoying regular sleep patterns in no time at all.
Have you seen THE PAJANIMALS? We don’t have cable so we’re not able to watch Sprout ® TV. I was happy to hear that it is now also airing on NBC on Saturday mornings as part of the NBC Kids programming block. It features four loveable puppets – Cowbella, Apollo, Sweetpea Sue and Squacky – who relate to children especially as they are getting ready for bed.
I wanted to see what this show was all about so I checked out the free Sprout videos they have available their website. My daughter sat next to me and was instantly intrigued by the adorable puppets. We watched just before nap time today. After one short clip her head was resting on my shoulder. Two songs later her eyes were heavy and she reached for her blankey. I played the La La Lullabye and she actually turned around away from the screen and shut her eyes! I scooped her up and into bed she went for nap time without a fuss.
That is not a typical nap time or bed time response for her so I was thrilled that these sweet friends helped her calm her head for rest. But what about the days when you get more resistance or the coming challenges of the time change? I’ve found my daughter can be snapped out of resistance by offering an alternative to sleeping in her bed. If I make some place special for her to nap it works well for us. She’s slept in her princess tunnel, her Barbie sleeping bag, and most recently a big nest of blankets on her bed (we used this tactic to get her back in bed after she slept in the sleeping bag for nearly a month!) Maybe your child would like a castle made from a big cardboard box?
Maybe the PAJANIMALS’ Snuggle Up Story Mat from TOMY would work for your toddler. It features all of your favorite, lovable PAJANIMALS characters and includes a soft book that can be read to your child, which also transforms into a pillow. The fabric is soft although it’s not very thick so I’d suggest using it on a carpeted floor or just use in bed as a nap time surprise. The story mat folds up to a fairly small size for easy storage when you’re not using it.
With how well my daughter responded to the little videos online maybe we’ll look at investing in the bedtime DVD for a Christmas gift this year. The stories are sweet and the songs fun to sing along to. A few of the bedtime stories really relate to some of the things we’re struggling with lately such as “How Do I Know if It’s Morningtime?” Anyone else have a little one who wakes long before you’d like them to?
Check out these resources to help your little one successfully transition this fall available from TOMY very soon!
PAJANIMALS plush toys: Available in November, just in time for holiday, from TOMY. The 9” and 15” plush versions of Sweetpea, Squacky, CowBella and Apollo, (with a SRP of $10.99 and $19.99 respectively)
MEET THE PAJANIMALS DVD (from NCircle Entertainment): The DVD debuted at retailers nationwide on September 11 at a suggested price of $6.99 and is available at our affiliate Amazon and directly from NCircle.
And for more PAJANIMALS fun, you might want to check out the recently released PAJANIMALS “Light in the Sky” app, priced at $4.99.
Disclosure: I received samples for the purpose of this review however all thoughts remain 100% my own!