Thursday, March 3, 2016

Spring is upon us and so is Daylight Saving Time

Sunday, March 13th we “spring forward”! 

Turn your clocks ahead 1 hour, before bed on Saturday night March 12th.

If you/your child(ren) typically wake at 6am, then they will likely wake 7am.  If you like this change then YEA!  Keep naps and bedtime on the new schedule (1hr later). To protect this new schedule and time make sure you use continuous white noise for all sleep periods and keep the room really, really dark.  You won’t achieve this without black out curtains or shades.

If the new time doesn’t work for you, below are some options to help your family adjust:

Gradually adjust:

This is ideal for children under 2 or those who don’t do well with big changes.  Go to bed 15 minutes earlier every night this week.  Each day, wake up your child 15 minutes earlier in the morning.  If napping, put her down 15 minutes earlier for each nap. 

Continue to adjust the schedule earlier in 15 minute increments (wake up, naptimes, meal times and bedtime) until you get to your goal according to the new clock time.

Adjusting all at once:

On Sunday, schedule your day (wake up, meals, naps and bedtime) on the new clock time.  But don’t start your day any earlier than 6am on the new clock time.

If you think the one-hour adjustment is too much for your child, split the difference and put her to bed at 7:30 p.m. (new time) starting Sunday night and for a few days.  Then shift bedtime earlier to 7:00 p.m.  Don't forget to adjust your entire schedule eg: earlier wake up time, nap time(s) and meal times.

The biggest challenge will be to help your child get to the new (later) bedtime without being overtired! That means you have to make naps a priority. Watch her sleep windows (look at my blog on the ideal schedule for by age), have a comforting pre-nap routine and get her down for nap time.

Don’t forget an early enough bedtime!  For most children that is between 7 – 8 PM.The adjustment to the new clock can take a few days, but it seldom takes more than a week!

Sweet Dreams!

Written by: Michelle Donaghy

PS: Ensure your child is going to bed awake, relaxed but awake.  On a scale of 1 to 10 and 10 is fast asleep your child should be at a 5 when they get into bed.   It should take them at least 5 minutes to put themselves to sleep.  If it takes less, your child was to sleepy and it is likely the cause of your night waking and also your early rising sleep issues (see my blog on Early Rising issues).