Daylight Savings Time: Tips On How to Handle Your Child’s Sleep
Daylight Savings Time is fast approaching and if you have young children you may be worried about what will happen to their perfect (or not so perfect) sleep schedule.
March 12th, 2017 is when we set our clocks forward. It’s bad enough that we lose an hour of sleep, and to make matters worse… it can wreak havoc on your child’s sleep schedule!
I have good news for you! If you survived “falling back” then “springing forward” will be a breeze! This time change is the less “disruptive” of the two, and here are a few tips on how to deal with daylight savings time regarding your child’s sleep.
- Sleep Environment: As the days will soon be getting longer and that sunshine will be beaming through those windows well past the “bedtime” hour, make sure that you keep your child’s sleep environment conducive to sleep. That means we want to make sure we are using our blackout blinds and ensuring that the room is super dark at that bedtime hour. You may want to start “darkening” the house an hour or so before bedtime so that your child has that visual cue that bedtime is approaching.
- Schedule: Thankfully, it is not necessary to play around with your schedule too much with this one. If your child is an early riser (5:30-6:00am) then you can do your happy dance, no more super early mornings for you !If your child is still on two naps a day, you can follow a “cold turkey” approach and just get them onto their usual nap schedule as per the new time. I always like to meet them halfway during these time changes until their body clock adjusts. It could look something like this : Your baby naps at 8:30am. First morning of the time change, your 8:30 is now 9:30 so you can put your baby down for 9-9:15 so that it’s not too drastic of a change but we are helping them along. If your baby is very schedule sensitive, you can start by bringing that first nap back 15-30 minutes earlier for the few days before the change (as per new time) so that it is a more gradual transition that will regulate itself as their body adjusts to the new time.Their circadian rhythms will adjust to the new time so your nap times will fall back to normal after a few days.If your child is on one nap a day, you shouldn’t need to adjust anything, and follow the new clock right away.
- Social cues: What is important is consistency in your everyday routines. These routines serve as strong cues to our children. Keeping the same order in your day to day routine such as playtime,mealtimes, bath times will all help ease into the new time change without any hiccups!
Lastly, be consistent and be patient. It’s normal for things to be a little bumpy for a few days, however everyone in the house will quickly adjust and the worry about daylight savings time will be a distant memory.. until the fall that is !
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