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Daylight Savings: Spring into Spring!

With spring around the corner, there are sunnier and warmer days ahead! With spring, comes the time change. This can be a really stressful time for families with little ones. You may feel like you are finally in a rhythm with your baby or toddler’s sleep and now the clock is going forward and you’ll be back at square one. I have good news – this time change is typically easier to adjust to! This blog should help you feel prepared and more at ease as the time change quickly approaches.



How do I make the adjustment?

There are a few ways to go about handling the time change. Your little one’s age and their ability to adapt, your family’s lifestyle and schedule, and your personality all come in to play when deciphering the best strategy for you.


Work with the time change!

 

With nicer days ahead, some families like to use the time change to their advantage to allow for more family time in the evenings. The hustle and bustle of getting the kids home from daycare, feeding them dinner and getting them into bed often doesn’t leave much time for bike rides or family walks. If your schedule can allow for a later morning rise, that extra hour in the evening can allow more time for family fun!

 

On the other hand, maybe your little one is an early riser and you’re hoping to push that wake time. Use the time change to your advantage and keep their schedule exactly as it is!

 

If this sounds beneficial for your family, you can pretty much disregard the time change! Of course you’ll have to be aware of the time for work, appointments, etc., but you can keep on with your little one’s normal schedule. If they typically wake at 6am, their new wake time would be pushed back by an hour and they would now get up at 7am. Same goes for naps and bedtime, based on the new time on the clock, everything would appear an hour later, but feel the same to their body clock!

 

Here’s an example of what working with the time change could look like:


Before the Time Change

After the Time Change

Wake

6:00AM

7:00AM

Nap 1

8:30AM

9:30AM

Nap 2

1:30PM

2:30PM

Bedtime

6:00PM

7:00PM

Of course, many families don’t have the option to use the time change to their advantage due to work, school, etc. constraints. My first tip, if you need to get back to regular programming despite the time change, resist the urge to sleep in! Sleeping in will only delay the inevitable and eventually, you will find yourself needing to adjust your child’s schedule. If you need to keep your schedule on track with the clock, there are a couple ways to adjust your little one to the time change:


Make the adjustment slowly!

 

If your baby is very sensitive to their sleep schedule or you like to be prepared, you can totally make slow adjustments in preparation! Start a week to 4 days before the clock jumps forward, and wake your little one 10-15 minutes earlier each day until, when the time change arrives, you are back to their original schedule, on the new clock.

 

If you choose to make a slow adjustment, your little one’s schedule might look like this:


Wednesday

(Original schedule)

Thursday

Friday

Saturday

Sunday (Clocks spring forward)

Wake

7:00 AM

6:45 AM

6:30 AM

6:15 AM

7:00 AM

Nap 1

9:30 AM

9:15 AM

9:00 AM

8:45 AM

9:30 AM

Nap 2

2:30 PM

2:15 PM

2:00 PM

1:45 PM

2:30 PM

Bedtime

7:00 PM

6:45 PM

6:30 PM

6:15 PM

7:00 PM

Spring into spring with the clock!

 

I know it doesn’t seem ideal to wake up an hour early (especially on the weekend!), but if you have to adjust your schedule because life requires you to, this is often the method I would suggest. I would also suggest this strategy if you have a toddler, as they are typically more adaptable with their schedules!

 

It will feel like you are waking an hour early, so, I encourage you to set your alarm and prepare for your morning the night before! Have your coffee ready to go the night before and have breakfast prepared in advance (an easy breakfast casserole or overnights oats!). You’ll follow your little one’s typical schedule on Saturday and on Sunday, you will go ahead and wake them a their typical wake up time. Your little one may be a little sleepy, but you’ll continue to follow their typical wake windows or on-the-clock schedule and continue on with the day!

 

This is what sprining into spring with the clock could look like for your baby:


Saturday (Original Schedule)

Sunday (Clocks Spring Forward)

Wake

7:00 AM

7:00 AM (feels like 6:00 AM)

Nap 1

9:30 AM

9:30 AM

Nap 2

2:30 PM

2:30 PM

Bedtime

7:00 PM

7:00 PM


Tips to make the adjustment easier:

Regardless of how you choose to deal with the time change, there are a few extra things that you can do to help:

 

Get back to the Basics:

Whenever you encounter a bump in your little one’s sleep journey, we always encourage you to get back to the basics.

 

Darkness:

Whether you plan to prepare in advance or to adjust the day of, using sunlight and darkness to your advantage is always helpful! With the spring time change, it will be brighter at bedtime. We encourage you to offer your little one plenty of time to wind down before bed. Bring them into their room, limit screen time, close the curtains/blinds and allow them plenty of 1:1 time to wind down. If there is any light sneaking into their room, this can stimulate their brain and distract them from falling asleep at bedtime. Be creative – do whatever you can to keep that sunshine out!

 

In the morning, you will want to open the curtains to allow the sunshine to pour in and help their body clock adjust!

 

Routines & Schedules:

If your little one already has a great routine, keep up with the great habits you have created! Always offer your little one a chance to wind down before nap and bedtime. Stay consistent with their routines - they cue to your child that sleep time is approaching. A consistent routine helps them prepare for sleep and limits the chance that you’re going to encounter bedtime difficulties. A bedtime routine may include a bath, bottle, jammies, story, sleep sack and sound machine. If you don’t already do a bedtime routine with your child, it’s never too late to start!

 

If your little one is in their toddler years, their routine may include an okay-to-wake clock. If it doesn’t, this could be a great time to start using one! The okay-to-wake clock helps give your toddler a visual reminder that it is still time for sleep. Once it turns green, it’s go time and your child can get up and start their day! It can also be helpful to signal the start of their bedtime routine!

 

Patience & Grace:

 

As with any experience you are going through in parenthood, the time change is no different. Whether you choose to make a slow adjustment or adjust with the clock, give yourself and your baby some grace! We all have off days and take some time adjusting to new things. You should be in the clear within a few days to a week!

 

Still Struggling?

If sleep is hard for your baby or toddler to begin with, we would be more than happy to set you and your little one up for sleep success! We have packages that offer personalized sleep plans to suit your baby or toddler and we can walk you through the process and help take the guesswork out of everything!

 

We are passionate about baby and toddler sleep and we want you to know that sleep doesn’t have to feel so difficult or stressful. Click the link below to book your free consultation call to determine what sleep package best fits your needs!









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