Spring IS Coming
Here are a few ways to help make the Daylight Saving's transition easier and avoid setbacks with your child’s sleep when we "spring ahead" on the night of Saturday, March 10th.
#1 The Plan Ahead Approach
If you want to be proactive, start moving your child’s nap times and/or bedtimes forward (early) by 15 minutes each day starting Thursday, March 8th and by Sunday morning when you wake up with the clocks changed your child will be fairly well-adjusted to the new time.
This approach is ideal for young babies, who are especially sensitive to changes in the amount of time that they're awake prior to naps and bedtime. Moving their schedule around drastically can quickly lead to an overtired baby.
This method is also effective for kids who can't tell time yet as they would hardly notice the schedule change by the time Monday rolls around and a new school and work week begins.
#2 The Split the Difference Method
You can also wait until the clocks change to make adjustments. Beginning Sunday at nap time, or if you're child no longer naps, then begin at bedtime: put your child down half an hour late by the new time (which is half an hour early by the old time) and do this for 2 or 3 nights in a row. Then, on Tuesday or Wednesday night, he or she would go to bed right on time according to the clock (but a full hour early by the old time).
This means that you move naps and bedtime forward 30 minutes for two or three days. If your child typically naps at 12:30 and goes to bed at 7:30, then for the first 2-3 days after the time change, you would put them down at 1:00 and 8:00 respectively. On the third or fourth day, you put them down at their normal nap and bedtime: 12:30 and 7:30. This allows their bodies to have several days to adjust to the new time.
However, if you have an infant under one year of age and their sleep schedule is very predictable, do this more gradually and in smaller increments of 15 minutes.
- Darken your child’s room – with it being lighter in the evenings and, eventually, in the mornings children may find it harder to fall asleep or stay asleep. You may also consider rearranging your child’s bedroom so the bed is not facing the window.
- In the mornings and during naps, try to avoid waking your child up unless it's necessary. Waking your child up to accommodate a time change often results in an overtired child.
- When your child does wake up for the day or from naps, get them outside to help their body clocks to adjust to the new time.
- With older children, make it clear that they need to look at their clocks before getting up for the day. This will help them recognize that their old schedule is still in effect even though the light outside may look different.
As with any changes to your child’s routine, consistency and patience are essential and, if you you're not getting the sleep you want within two weeks, then get in touch and we can do it together which means less stress and more rest sooner.