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Tips To Handle Spring Forward - Daylight Savings

Sunday, March 10th we “spring forward”! 

Turn your clocks ahead 1 hour, before bed on Saturday night March 9th.


If you/your child(ren) typically wake at 6am, then they will likely wake 7am.  If you like this change then YAY!  This is a great fix for an early riser.


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.


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 the following day.

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

Adjusting all at once or split the difference:

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 30 minutes earlier starting Sunday night and for a few days.  Once that is going well, shift bedtime an additional 30 minutes earlier (the full hour). 

Don't forget to adjust your entire schedule in the above increments eg: earlier wake-up time, nap time(s) and meal times.


Extra Daylight Saving Tips:



  • Be sure to make naps a priority this week, this weekend and next week too! (view my blog on Sample Schedules by age)
  • Watch the sleep windows (view my blog on Awake Windows by age).
  • Install room-darkening shades for improved sleep.
  • Keep things calm in the evening and no screen time 60 min before bedtime.
  • Get lots of bright sunlight in the morning during this transition time.
  • If necessary use your preferred sleep coaching method to help encourage sleep and get everyone in the family the sleep they need.
  • 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 too sleepy and it is likely the cause of your night waking and also your early rising sleep issues (see my blog on Early Rising).

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