Updated: Mar 8
We have all endured a winter with long dark evenings and morning car rides that look more like the evening hours. One of the best times of the year has arrived and we are springing forward and looking ahead to longer days of natural sunlight. As for your little one(s) this can throw a wrench into their happy sleep groove. The good news is daylight savings in the spring is a much easier transition then falling back in the fall. None the less, it is still change and some children need to gradually approach the change.
Blackout Shades/Curtains: Now that the sun will be rising early in the morning and setting later in the evening, this can cause a disruption in your child’s sleep patterns. Especially as we move from spring into summer and daylight is still around at 8:30 pm, which is good for our mood, but harder on a little one trying to get to sleep at their 7:00 pm bedtime. Click Here for one of my favorite black out shades, and a perk, it is easy to install/remove and affordable.
Natural Sunlight: It is important in the morning hours and late afternoon to have your children out in the natural sunlight. This is a great dose of Vitamin D and also helps to get their internal clock adjusted. Who does not love this weather; a great way to get outside and play hard which will tire our little ones and have them ready for naps and bedtime. Remember to keep their schedule in mind as you never want an overly tired baby or child.
Bedtime/Nap time Battles: Your child’s internal clock will need to be reset, If your child is use to going to bed at 7:00 pm, when you spring forward it will now be 8:00 pm. The gradual approach will help you slowly move your child’s circadian rhythm more easily before the time officially changes. The good news is you may be excited if you have an early morning riser that usually wakes at 5:30 am it will now be 6:30 am when they wake for the day, but this can throw a kink in their nap and overall schedule. Also, it is a good time to work on those early morning risers, check out my blog on dealing with early risers HERE.
Roll With It Or Prepare For The Change: Some parents like to go with the flow and allow a good 7-10 days to naturally let their child adjust to springing forward, since the impact is usually much easier then the time change in November. If your child is more impacted by any type of change it may be best to help them prepare ahead of time for the time change coming on March 14. No worries, if you do not get this accomplished before the time change begins you can still implement it post springing forward. You will need to begin by moving your child’s overall schedule by about 10-15 minutes each day, this includes naps and bedtime. See an example below and if your child is taking more than one nap you will need to apply it for all naps. The example is given for a child with a 12:00 pm nap time and a 7:00 pm bedtime.
Day 1 & Day 2- Nap begins at 11:45 am and Bedtime begins at 6:45 pm
Day 3 & Day 4- Nap begins at 11:30 am and Bedtime begins at 6:30 pm
Day 5 & Day 6- Nap begins at 11:15 am and Bedtime begins at 6:15 pm
Day 7 Nap begins at 11:00 am, which now the time has changed and their normal 12:00 pm nap time and bedtime begins at 6:00 pm, with the time change now their usual 7:00 pm bedtime.
Again, some babies can naturally move their schedules and are barely phased by the time changes and others needs more time and attention to deal with the time change, even if it is springing forward which is usually easier to handle. Also, if you are in the midst of working on your child's sleep and they do not have a set schedule down pat just yet, it can sometimes be easier to let the time change happen and naturally work with your child and their sleep times. This process can also be done after the time change or taking a few weeks to adjust the entire schedule if that will work best for your child and family.