Spring Ahead: Sleep Tips for Daylight Savings


Daylight Savings begins March 13th, 2016.  Time to adjust your clocks one hour ahead.  Many people dread losing an hour of sleep, but for your children it can be a positive experience. This is the one day a year your child will sleep in – enjoy it!

If is you survived “falling back” then “springing forward” will be a piece of cake. For children, this is the least disruptive of the two. Though deemed to be easier, it is still a change to your child’s sleep (and overall) schedule. Here are a few tips on how to deal with daylight savings regarding their sleep:

1. Schedule: For most children, you can use the “cold turkey” approach and adjust everything to the new time. If this is your plan and your child normally naps at 9am and 1pm, continue to put him down at 9am and 1pm after the time change. You may notice it takes him longer to fall asleep for naps and bedtime, but this is okay. Be patient and consistent and he will regulate within a few days.

If your child is more schedule sensitive, or younger (0~8 months), slowly adjust their sleeping times by 15-30 minutes each day until you’ve reached his “normal” nap and bedtime. For example, if he napped at 9am in the old time, once you adjust the clock his nap will start at 8:15 or 8:30am. Then slowly move his nap time by 15-30 minute intervals until it reaches 9am. Continue to adjust each nap time and bedtime appropriately.

2. Sleep Environment: Now the sun will rise earlier and set later, which means more daylight especially during sleeping hours (think 5:30am). The biggest adjustment with springing forward is keeping their sleeping environment conducive to sleep. That means using blackout shades and keeping their room as dark as possible. You may want to start darkening the house an hour before bedtime so that your child has a visual cue that bedtime is approaching.

3. Routines: Children need and even desire consistent routines. It gives them a sense of security and self-control. Keeping the same order in their day to day routine such as mealtimes, playtimes, nap time and bedtime routines will ease their transition into the time change. Like sleep, you want to schedule their eating to the new time, but know they may need an extra snack to tide them over.

Most importantly, be consistent and patient. Within in a few days to a week, everyone will be well adjusted and enjoying the extra sunlight. And as always, get outside into the sunshine as that will help them adjust. Happy Sleeping!

Valerie Birch

Certified Infant & Child Sleep Consultant at Amazing Little Sleeper
Valerie Birch is a Pediatric Sleep Expert for exhausted families who have tried evvvvverything to get their child to sleep.

Through her informative and supportive blog posts and one-on-one help, she’s here to guide your child into restorative naps and peaceful nights - while making you wonder why you didn’t contact her sooner.

When she’s not consulting?You’ll find her hanging with her 2 children, getting her sweat on at the gym or baking and indulging in warm ooey-googey chocolate-chip cookies….hobbies that balance each other out!

Meet Valerie + prepare yourself for Amazing Sleep ahead…amazinglittlesleeper.com

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