The end of daylight savings time used to be the best (pre-kids). One extra hour of sleep on the weekend?! Who doesn’t love that?! A lot of parents now prefer to “spring forward” because their 5am riser will now be waking at “6am” (that makes it a little better right?). Daylight savings time is coming up, but don’t worry, this is the easier of the two time changes. How can you help your baby adjust to the new time? You have a few options:
Tips for the Spring Forward Time Change:
Adjust your schedule before the time change…
Three days before the time change you will move your little one’s schedule earlier by 15 minutes each day. You will wake them up 15 minutes earlier than your regular wake up time and put them for their nap or naps 15 minutes earlier. Wake them 15 minutes earlier from the naps and then bedtime will also be 15 minutes earlier. The goal is to shift them closer to the schedule as it will be when you spring forward. When you spring forward nap time will feel like it’s an hour early to your child but by adjusting slowly for a few days, your baby will have started to move towards the new schedule. Two days before the time change you will increase that to 30 minutes earlier than the usual wake up, nap, and bedtime. Finally, one day before, wake them 45 minutes earlier. On the day of the spring forward, go with your regular schedule. For example, wake up at 6:30am, nap at noon, and bedtime at 7:00pm.
Adjust your clock and your schedule all at once
With this method, change your clocks before you go to bed on Saturday and wake up with the new clock. Wake your baby at their regular time in the morning on the new clock. If your baby usually wakes at 6:30am then wake them at 6:30am on the new clock. It is true that 5:30am is now 6:30am so you will be waking them one hour earlier than they are used to, but everything shifts one hour earlier. They might take a little longer to fall asleep at nap and bedtime because “technically” it is one hour earlier than they are used to – but they will adjust in a few days.
A few extra Spring Forward tips:
Make the room dark:
Don’t forget to darken up that room if you haven’t already! The sun will rise earlier and set later. You don't want to confuse your little one's brain about when it is time to sleep. Darkness cues melatonin, our sleep hormone, so darkening it up will help with falling and staying asleep. Remember that we are all different and we will all respond to
daylight savings time differently. The key is to be consistent with your schedule and your little one will adjust.
Keep it cool:
With the time change comes warmer weather. It is a great idea to look at your child’s sleepwear and decide if you need to make a change. Maybe you need a thinner sleep sack or lighter weight pyjamas. We all sleep better in cooler temperatures, so keeping the room between 20-22 °C / 68-72 °F is ideal.
Adults need to adjust their schedule as well:
It is very tempting to stay up later with this time change. It is very easy to convince yourself that even though the clock shows 11:00pm, it’s really only 10:00pm. The problem with this thinking though, is that you do not get the extra hour of sleep in the
morning. Stick with your regular schedule on the new clock! There has been some research that says that car accidents increase that first week after the time change. If you are feeling tired, make your bedtime earlier vs. sleeping in later.
Enjoy the brighter days ahead!
Tagged under: sleep,baby sleep,Daylight Savings time,time change,spring forward