It is time to “spring forward” the clocks. You’re probably wondering how you’re going to survive daylight savings. It can be a dreaded time for parents of young children. With daylight savings comes an adjustment that does not happen immediately. Children tend to be more structured in their bedtime and wake up around the same time each morning. That is why people usually can 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 clock 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.
How to Survive Daylight Savings With Children
My best advice for children to help them with the change is to split the difference with the old time and the new time. How does that work? If you have a child that does not nap and normally goes to bed at 7:00pm, you would put him to bed at 7:30 pm 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 pm).
How to Survive Daylight Savings With Toddlers
On Sunday, you would put him for his first nap 30 minutes later than normal. So if he naps at 9:30 am usually, you would put him down at 10:00 am. Do the same with the afternoon nap, if he takes one. For bedtime, if his normal bedtime is 7:00pm, you would put him down at 7:30 pm. Do this for 3 nights after the time change. Then on the 4th night, put him to bed at 7:00 pm. On 5th day move nap times back to normal time. So if your child naps at 9:30 am, put him down at 9:30a m and so on with the rest of the day.
How to Survive Daylight Savings With Babies
If bedtime is at a predictable time, move it 15 minutes earlier each night until you reach the normal time. So if bedtime is usually 7:00 pm, put him down at 7:45 pm on the first night. On the second night 7:30 pm, and so on. In four nights you should be back to 7:00 pm. If their bed is not predictable (0-6 months old) simply jump to the new time Sunday night.
Also remember that as the days are getting longer, we want to avoid the sunlight entering your child’s room so it’s important make your child’s room as dark as possible. Your child may wake up too early with the sun rising so early now in the morning and may struggle to fall asleep while it is still light outside so darkening the room can be very helpful. Even though there is extra hours of daylight children still need the same amount of sleep. I’d recommend blackout curtains or the Blackout EZ Window Covers.
To healthy sleep,
Your Houston Sleep Consultant & Dallas Sleep Consultant
Certified Baby & Toddler Sleep Consultant
P.S. If your child is struggling with sleep and you would like to schedule a free 15-minute consultation, you can call at (832) 640-5492, email me at [email protected], or click HERE to Schedule a Consultation.