It’s that time of year again! Daylight savings starts in the Spring season every year.?? This upcoming weekend the clocks “spring forward”! ⏰
It can be a dreaded time for parents of young children because with this, comes an adjustment that does not happen immediately. This is because children tend to be more structured in their bedtime, and wake up around the same time every morning. That’s why people can usually see a greater effect on children when the time changes. However, there are some things you can do to help make the transition to the new time go a little smoother!
My recommendation is to leave your clocks alone Saturday night. Wake up Sunday morning, have breakfast, then go around your house and change your clocks. Psychologically, it will feel much better for everyone if you wait until Sunday morning to change the time.
My best advice to help children with the change is to split the difference with the old time and the new time. How does that work?
School Age Children?– If you have a child that does not nap and normally goes to bed at 7:00 p.m., you would put him to bed at 7:30 p.m. on Sunday night, the first night of the time change. Do this for 3 nights, putting him to bed 30 minutes later than normal, then on the 4th night put him to bed at the normal time, 7:00 p.m. or whatever is normal bedtime for your child.
Toddlers??– If you have a toddler ages one and older, on Sunday the first day of the time change, you would put him down for his first nap 30 minutes later than normal. So if he usually naps at 9:30 a.m. put him down at 10:00 a.m. You would do the same with the afternoon nap if he takes an afternoon nap. For bedtime, if his normal bedtime is 7:00 p.m., you would put him down at 7:30 p.m. Do this for 3 nights after the time change, and then on the 4th night put him to bed at 7:00 p.m. On the 5th day move nap times back to their normal time. So if your child naps at 9:30 a.m. put him down at 9:30 a.m. and so on with the rest of the day.
Infants?– If you have a baby, and his bedtime and naps have become predictable (usually over 6 months old), you would do a bit more of a slower gradual change. For example if bedtime is normally 7:00 p.m., move bedtime 15 minutes earlier every few nights until you reach the normal time again. So the first couple nights you would put him down at 7:45 p.m., the third night 7:30 p.m. and so on. Within a week you should be back to 7:00 p.m. Do the same thing for naps. If their bedtime and nap times are not predictable (0-6 months old), simply jump to the new time Sunday night as if you were traveling to a new time zone and use their wake time window (awake time between sleep periods) as your guide.
Another tip that is helpful, is to darken your child’s room. Your child may wake up too early with the sun rising earlier now in the morning, and may struggle to fall asleep while it is still light outside. Darkening their room can be very helpful. Even though there is extra hours of daylight, children still need the same amount of sleep!
It may take children and babies a bit more time to fall asleep. Of course this is normal since the time is different, and initially they won’t be as tired as they normally would be. It usually takes about a week for children and babies to completely adjust to the new time, some children it can take up to a month. Be patient and consistent, it will happen!
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Sleep well ?