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Before having kids, the annual fall time change meant an extra, delicious hour of sleep on the weekend. (Remember those days?) But when you’re a parent, setting the clocks back doesn’t necessarily mean an extra hour of shut-eye. In fact, if your baby usually wakes at 6 a.m. for the day, you might be up at 5 a.m. for a while.

Just like jet lag, a time change of even only one hour can affect your baby’s circadian rhythms (physical, mental and behavioural changes that generally follow a 24-hour cycle) and therefore her sleep schedule for a few days. Those early mornings can lead to nap issues, overtired babies, and grumpy moms and dads.

I’m a professional sleep consultant, and my three children are no longer babies; even I dread the autumn time change—it can still cause crying jags and late bedtime battles. (This also means you could pick up your kids from daycare or commute home after the sun has already gone down.) But there are a few things you can do to prepare before November 1 arrives.

If you’re lucky, and your child isn’t super sleep-sensitive, you can just jump to the new times and wait for her to adjust. That’s what Andrea Papalia of Stoney Creek, Ont., has done with both her little ones—ages two and four—and plans to do with her four-month-old baby this year.

“I’ve always just stuck to my normal times,” she explains. “The only thing I find is they fight their nap a little, but by bedtime, they’re back to their normal routine.” It may take a few days for your child to get used to it, and you might have some early mornings and rough bedtimes for a week or so, but your kids will, eventually, adapt.

A bedtime routine that consists of calming and familiar activities helps prepare your little one for sleep and it can also help your child through sleep transitions like travelling and time changes. It’s important to practice a consistent bedtime routine so when occasions happen like the time change familiar bedtime activities that are consistently practiced can help your child easily transition and prepare for bedtime easier.

This article was taken from Today’s Parent. For additional information read it here

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