Alarm Clock for Transition Back to School Schedule
Transitioning Back to School Schedule
August 1, 2012 parenting

August is here! This summer really flew by this year. It’s my first summer home full-time with my boys, and despite the heat we really enjoyed it. I would’ve liked to have canned and froze more food for winter (I can’t imagine what food prices will be this winter!), but I have a bit of time left. One of the things I did really well this summer was to let our schedule and routine slide. It wasn’t something that I wanted to do, but it is something I did with flair! So now we’re at that blissfully happy place in the summer. You know the one – when the sun’s up late, but the kids have to go to bed early…

Transitioning Back to School Schedule

This fall my oldest baby will be starting school for the very first time. He’s only going for 2 half days per week, but it still feels a little scary for me. He’s growing up. When I was pregnant with our second child, he was still a toddler. Now he’s a preschooler and it feels like it just ran right up – I wasn’t ready at all. Last year at back to school time my husband was switched to second shift at work, so we went to bed late and woke up late – it was perfect for this night owl mama. But now I must have my son up and ready for school early! I’m just glad that my husband is back on first shift again!

When to Start Transitioning Back to School Schedule?

I’ve kept my ears out around other moms to see when they’re starting to transition their kids’ sleep schedules for back to school. The best advice that I’ve heard is from the moms who stay on school schedule all year. That’s my goal. But I totally blew that for this year, so now what? Most of the schools around here start in 2 weeks. Luckily for me, my son’s school starts in 4 weeks. To me, a month feels like a good amount of time to put aside for changing a sleep schedule. Here’s how I see it going:

Week 1 Day 1 – Son goes to sleep just about on my time-table.

Week 1 Day 3 – Son is up until midnight because he refuses to go to sleep on my time-table.

Week 1 Day 6 – Son is asleep before dinner because he refuses to go to sleep on my time-table.

Week 2 – Son goes to sleep just about on my time-table.

Week 3 – Son is up late and napping during the day like I wished he would’ve all summer.

Week 4 – Finally, son is asleep just about on my time-table every day.

Why to Transition Back to School Schedule So Early?

See, I’m not actually new to this concept. The back to school reason for transitioning a sleep schedule is new, but I’ve had to transition his sleep for my work schedule and for my husband’s work schedule before. When I became a full-time at home mom, I will confess that I transitioned him to letting me sleep in again too… Since I’ve had this much experience with transitioning his sleep, I feel confident that the weeks will ago about how I described. And that’s why I’m glad I have 4 weeks left to change his schedule around. Kids get used to routine just like everyone else, and it can be really hard to change it. In some ways, the sleep schedule is a habit that we have to change. I take a really long time to get adjusted to new habits, and joyfully I’ve passed that on to my son.

How’s the Transition Going So Far?

Yesterday was the first day of our new routine. And he was asleep just about on my time-table. Tonight I fully expect to barely get any sleep because he won’t want to fall asleep early and the baby will wake up early tomorrow. The younger they are, the easier they seem to be to transition. The biggest challenge for me in the coming weeks will be to not let him go back to napping. Shortly before he turned 4, he started bucking every nap. So now he’s stuck with no nap until he gets the sleep schedule down for back to school. My son has always been a sleep fighter, and it may seem harsh, but this is the only way that I can make sure he’ll be up and ready for school next month.

Not All Kids Transition Easily

Warning – while this schedule change works for me, I know several of my friends who have not been able to get their kids’ schedules transitioned much at all. They all seem to have kids that wake up early anyway, so that shouldn’t be too difficult to get them ready for school on time, but we are a family of night owls and late sleepers here!

How will you transition your child to a back to school sleep schedule?