Daylight Savings Time: Top Tips for Falling Back

Infant Sleep · Toddler Sleep

You’ve got your sweet wee one on a great sleep routine that works well. You’ve settled into a nice rhythm of sleep and night and fun during the day with your happy, well rested child.

And then you see it on the calendar: it’s time to adjust the clocks again.

Your mind begins to imagine all your hard work unraveling and going back to a cranky baby who doesn’t get enough sleep, and walking around in search of coffee because you’re not getting sleep either.

But you know what? That’s not going to be you. Not this year. Because you’re a Sleep Wise parent and you have the information you need to spring ahead and still have a well rested child.

How To Handle Daylight Savings Time

There are two important people to consider during this time change period of adjustment:  your baby…and you.

That’s right, both of you are doing to need to adapt and both of your internal clocks will need to reset. So instead of just focusing on how to get your little one moving through this, let’s talk about ideas for everyone!

How Long Will It Take To Adjust To The New Sleep Schedule?

Great question! Obviously you know it’s not going to happen overnight (or you wouldn’t even bother to read this!).

Any change in sleep routine takes around 7 days for a body to adjust to.

Daylight Savings Sleep Adjustment Tips For Parents

Let’s start with you. You already understand what’s going on and we just need to help you ease through this weekend. Here are some really simple guidelines that will make a big difference.

Don’t Change Your Clocks (Yet!)

I know, I know, you have to eventually. But you don’t have to do it Saturday night before you go to bed. All that will do is leave you frustrated on Sunday morning when you feel like you’re way off schedule and your baby is waking up too early.

But by not doing it on Saturday night, you avoid the psychological upset when things aren’t on track on Sunday morning.

Make The Change In The Morning

Get up and start at the normal time (without the change!).

Then change your clocks on Sunday after breakfast sometime. You’ll have had your meal together, enjoyed some coffee, and can make the change with a clear and calm mind that’s not feeling pressured.

It’s amazing how these two simple tips make such a big difference to how you handle things, and your ability to help your child even better.

How To Adjust Your Young Child’s Sleep Schedule After Daylight Savings

Wouldn’t it be nice if you could just explain to your little one the crazy system of time change and have her nod in understanding and then immediately adapt?

Since that’s not going to happen, let’s look at a few ways you can help make the transition more simple.

Shift Bedtime Gently

The first day, shift bedtime by 30 minutes. On day four, go ahead and move it the rest of the hour. By the end of day 7, the new bedtime will seem normal.

Shift Nap Times

Do the same with nap times. This way there’s still the same number of awake hours in between sleep times.

The Digital Clock Tip

One easy way to help your toddler with this is to have a digital clock in their room. Set it 30 minutes ahead the first few days (so 6:30 would read 7:00) and put tape over the minutes. This will help them still know the right hour for waking up and getting out of bed.

Helping Your Baby Adjust To The Time Change

Now obviously, if you’ve got a baby then the clock tip won’t work for shifting wake up times. Each day, just go in to your little one ten minutes later than the day before and within a week you’ll have adjusted their get out of bed time by an hour (and their wake up time will follow suit!).

You’ll still adjust nap and betimes the same as you would for an older child, but the waking up cues you’ll take a little slower. And within a week (two at the longest), you’ll both be back on track!

So hang in there and know that this will all be over soon and sound, healthy sleep and a well rested little one are still going to happen! And, of course, you’ve got your individual sleep wise consultant if you need more help!

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