Spring Forward, Rest Easy :
My Top 10 Favorite Tips to Easily Adjust at
Daylight Savings Time
Moving the clocks ahead one hour is a scary prospect, not only because you know it has the potential to get your kids' schedules all out of whack, but also you have to mentally prepare yourself for losing an hour of sleep this upcoming weekend and having to still attempt to be productive.
BUT- trying to look on the bright side- this just means one thing: Spring is right around the corner!! Spring is my absolute favorite time of year, because the days get longer, the weather gets warmer, I'm not cooped up in the house trying to amuse small children (and husbands)...
Keep reading for my top 10 tips to help your babe make a smooth transition to the new time.
On Saturday, don't change a darn thing. Enjoy your weekend, leave those clocks alone, and don't stress.
On Sunday, get up at your regular time. If you set an alarm clock so you can have some personal time before your little one(s) wakes, then set it an hour later. This is especially important if you use your phone as an alarm clock, set it an hour later since it will change automatically at 2am while you are sleeping.
Same thing goes for your little one- they should wake up an hour later. For example, if they usually wake up at 7:00am, that day they will wake up at 8:00am.
Then, you'll need to adjust your nap schedule that day, starting with the first nap. If, for example, your little one usually takes a morning nap around 9:30 AM, you will adjust this to 10:00 AM for the three days after the time change. It will be a bit of a push for your child, but not so much that it will cause much damage to her schedule. Do the same for the afternoon nap.
You will also have to adjust bedtime a little bit. Let’s say your child usually goes to bed at 7 PM, I recommend putting her to bed at 7:30 PM for the first three days following the time change. (This will FEEL like 6:30 PM to your child.)
If you have children over the age of two, you can put a digital clock in their room. Put a piece of tape over the minutes, so that they can see if it is 6 o’clock or 7 o’clock, but they cannot see the minutes (which often confuses toddlers). Just set the clock forward half an hour so that at 6:30 AM it says 7:00 AM and let them get up a little later than normal. Know that, by the end of the week, they will be back on track and sleep until their normal wake up time. On the fourth night, push that last half hour to get in line with the new time so your baby is back to going to bed when the clock says 7:00 PM.
If you are dealing with a baby, you cannot do that. Young infants especially can’t handle big time changes that quickly. I recommend adjusting by 10-15 minutes every day until you’ve adjusted the full hour. So, if she normally wakes up at 7:00 AM (which is now 8:00 AM), you will wake her up at 7:45 AM on Day 1, 7:30 AM on Day 2, 7:15 AM on Day 3, and 7:00 AM on Day 4. By the end of the week, your baby’s schedule should be adjusted to the new time and waking up at her usual hour.
For newborns- you don’t have to make any big adjustments since newborns need to feed roughly every 3 hours. As before, I suggest a bedtime routine around 8-9 PM and an official “wake up time” 12 hours after that.
If your baby or child is already waking early (which is SUPER common!), then DO nothing to that clock! So if they usually wake up at 6:00 AM but you want them to wake at 7:00 AM, you are golden!
Big changes to our schedules take a little time for our bodies to fully adjust. Expect at least three days, if not a week, to make that adjustment.
That’s it! I hope these tips help you avoid frustration and schedule adjustments. If you have any questions, please reach out through email or social media :)
If you are thinking to yourself: HA! I wish my only sleep issue was dealing with the time change, my babe is up all hours of the night and has no rhyme or reason to his schedule! Then we need to talk! Click this big blue button real quick on the bottom of the page, and let's schedule a time to talk over a totally free, 1:1 discovery call where we can discuss options about getting your little one to sleep better!