Spring Forward: Sleep Tips for Daylight Savings

Spring Forward: Tips for Daylight Savings Time

It’s that time of year again, to change the clocks.  Sunday, March 11th, 2018 @ 2:00am set our clocks forward one hour.  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 wake up later, so, enjoy it!

If is you survived “falling back” then “springing forward” is 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, then you’ll plan on napping them at 10am and 2pm on the new clock schedule.  The most important aspect is to watch your child for signs of tiredness ~30 minutes before their nap time.  When you notice them becoming tired – eye rubbing, red eyes, glazed looks, disinterested in their environment – nap them within 10-15 minutes to avoid them being too tired.  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.

I find most children keep this new and later sleep schedule for ~a week and then their bodies slowly regulate back to their previous nap times, which in this example was 9am and 1pm.  Don’t be alarmed if this happens as those sleep waves are strong.

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 + another layer 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 thrive with 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 at 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.  Now only if the warmth would join it?!  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

Latest posts by Valerie Birch (see all)