Raise your hand if you think daylight savings should just be done away with! (You can’t see me right now, but my hand is raised high.) Although I can’t change the overall system of daylight savings, I can help you go into this weekend with a plan to help your child’s sleep stay as on track as possible. If you’re reading this and thinking, “I usually just wing it and we come out just fine” (what we always did before I was a sleep consultant), great! We’ll all end up together on the other side in a week or so. But if you’re already stressing about what to do, here are some tips for you.
When we “spring forward,” 8:00 pm on the clock feels like 7:00 pm to our bodies, meaning if we put our child to bed at 7:00, like usual, their body feels like it’s only 6:00 pm, and that probably won’t fly.
If you have a baby or toddler who takes one or more naps during the day, your best bet is to adjust your child’s schedule in 15 minute intervals every two days. What that looks like is this: if your child usually goes to bed at 7:00 pm, move bedtime to 7:45 pm on days one and two (this will feel like 6:45 pm to their bodies). Then on days three and four, bring your child’s bedtime forward another 15 minutes, to 7:30. On days five and six, move your child’s bedtime forward to 7:15, and by day seven you’ll be back to 7:00.
No Nap Schedule
If you have on older child who doesn’t nap anymore, you can use these same 15 minute intervals, or you can jump to 30 minute intervals. For example, if your child is usually in bed by 7:00 pm, move his bedtime to 7:30 pm for three days (this will feel like 6:30 pm), then on the fourth day make bedtime 7:00 pm again. It’ll take a few more days to fully adjust, but by the end of the week you should be back to normal.
And if you have a little one who strictly follows awake windows, then keep following those awake windows! You can play around with morning wake up times and nap lengths if you’re aiming for a certain bedtime, but otherwise you won’t really notice a change.
Finally, if daylight savings is the least of your worries when it comes to your child’s sleep, I’d love to chat more with you! Sign up for a FREE discovery call so we can talk more about your child’s sleep and how I can help.