This Sunday, March 12 at 2am we Spring Forward which means we lose an hour of sleep. Daylight Saving can get a really bad rap and is blamed for a lot of babies and toddlers sleep problems. But, if you know how to handle and can ride out a little time to adjust, your little one will be back to sleep in no time.
I suggest one of three options:
1. Move your child’s bedtime and wake up earlier in small 15 minute increments starting 4 days before. For example, if your child typically goes to bed at 7pm and wakes at 7am:
- WEDS: Bedtime 6:45pm
- THURS: Wake up 6:45am, Bedtime 6:30pm
- FRI: Wake up 6:30am, Bedtime 6:15pm
- SAT: Wake up 6:15am, Bedtime 6pm
This way on Sunday night when you put them down back at the normal clock time of 7pm (it will really be 6pm and they should go down easier). If they typically sleep 12 hours they will wake at 7am (really 6am) and then can follow regular schedule. If your child is still napping move up nap time by 15 min each day as well.
2. Put your child down at the normal bedtime of 7pm on Sat night and then if they typically wake up at 7am (it will really be 8am according to the clock). So unlike in the Fall, your child will actually be sleeping later according to the clock. If your child is still napping you don’t want to mess the day up so wake them by 7 or 7:30am (remember even though the clock says this time it’s really an hour earlier) and then go by the clock for your normal nap times and bed time the rest of the day.
3. Do absolutely nothing. Put your child to bed at their normal bedtime and let them wake up
naturally. Then follow the current clock time for the rest of the day.
The other really important thing to remember is that there will be more exposure to light in the evening around bedtime so you might want to start dimming the lights around dinner time and definitely invest in some black out shades if you don’t already have. Some babies/children adjust quickly in a few days to the time change and others take about a week or a bit longer to adapt. When choosing an option think about what your child will likely adapt to most easily based on temperament.