How to Prepare Your Baby and Toddler For Daylight Savings

Expert tips on adjusting the whole family's sleep routine when the clocks turn back


 

It’s that time again! This Sunday we change our clocks and gain an hour of sleep. Not so fast.  Gone are the days of singlehood where you can bask in slumberville and enjoy that extra hour. Here are the days of early rising cries and late bedtime battles. So what do you do?

The first thing you do is take a deep breath. These time changes happen twice a year and we always manage to get through them unharmed. Say it with me – this too shall pass. If your child isn’t super sleep sensitive, and some kids aren’t, then you may be able to just jump to the new times and wait for them to adapt. Consistency is key in whichever approach you take. It may take them a week or two to adapt but they do adapt just like we do.

For those who are a little more sensitive to routine and sleep the best approach to take is a gradual shift in schedule. You have to understand that with setting the clocks back, what was a 7am wakeup for your child will now turn into a 6am wakeup. It’s always a good idea to bump up your routine in the beginning and you can do this a few days before the actual time change. So for the little nappers of the house, because wake time in the morning will be earlier, it’s a good idea to bump up the morning nap by 15 minutes. So your normal naptime of 9am will get moved up to 8:45 am. The same will happen for your afternoon nap.

Because everything will be bumped up throughout the day, and naps will end earlier, you will also need to bump up bedtime by 15 to 30-minutes as well. This super early bedtime won’t be forever, don’t worry! Once wake time in the morning and daily naps start inching closer to your original wake times you can start adjusting bedtime and naptimes to your normal routine again.

For the older kids who don’t take naps anymore, bump up that bedtime!  At least until their biological sleep clocks have adjusted.

Hang in there moms and dads. The shift in this new schedule normally takes a week or two for our kiddies to adapt to it.  They will get there!  Remember my two favourite words! Persistence and consistency!  You will get through this.

 

 Alanna McGinn is a Certified Infant and Toddler Sleep Consultant and Founder of Good Night Sleep Site.  She is a mom of 3 (1 + twins!) and is committed to helping families with their baby and toddler sleep needs.  www.goodnightsleepsite.com, www.goodnightsleepblog.com, @GNSleepSite, www.facebook.com/goodnightsleepsite, http://pinterest.com/gnsleepsite/

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