It’s that time of year again! Daylight Saving Time is March 9, 2014 where we will be moving the clock forward for some of that extra daytime sunshine!
I’m going to share a couple of approaches that can be helpful to make the transition a little more smoother for your child and help you know what to expect when you spring forward!
Daylight Saving Time is tough on everyone because we are shifting our internal clock, the circadian rhythm that is really rigid, by more than 30 minutes.
Most children ages 6 and younger will normally wake sometime between 6am and 7am in the morning. Usually children 2 and younger will be most affected by the time change. But the good news is that if your baby, toddler, or preschooler has too early of a wake time, this could be a good time to make the shift. You might be wondering how to make the shift in your home?
The first approach to Daylight Saving Time transition: keep bedtime the same.
Put your child to sleep at the regular bedtime. Then, go ahead and move your clock one hour ahead. Hopefully your child’s body clock is already set so if they normally wake at 6am in the morning, now it will be 7am on the new time. This can really work in your favor. And then on Sunday, continue your regular routine on the new time.
At bedtime put your child down at their normal bedtime so if your child normally use to have a 7pm bedtime they might not be as tired because it’s actually 6pm on the old time. Again, our children don’t understand time and clocks and how all of this works. So be patient and flexible. You might even consider using the shuffle or other gentle sleep methods to help your baby or toddler fall asleep.
Usually it takes a little less than week to transition with this approach.
The second approach to Daylight Saving Time transition: split the time.
This can be helpful if your child has a little more difficult time or is sensitive to transitions. You can start this approach about a week before the official time change. So you’ll plan to split the difference for bedtime. Here’s what that might look like. If bedtime is normally 7pm, shift it to 7:30 for the NEW time. This will be helpful that you’re not throwing your child off by the entire hour. You’ll be gradually making the shift. And after the time change you ‘ll need to adjust naps and meals. If your child is going down for their afternoon nap at 12:30, then put them down at 1:00 while making the transition.
The goal of course with either approach is to get your child back on track to their regular bedtime! And whatever approach you use to help you with Daylight Saving Time, really allow for about 5-7 days for your child to make the transition.
You are your child’s best expert. So only you know the best way to make springing forward an easy transition for your family.
Do you have sleep questions or concerns for your 6 year old or younger child? Feel free to set up a time on my calendar for us to talk to help your get sleep in your home gently!
Share this video with your friends! Good luck springing forward!
Here’s a little background on Daylight Saving Time. What are your thoughts about the time change?
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