This is quite possibly my favorite day of the year. Spring has sprung
here in the states, bulbs are starting to bloom and color blankets the northeast for as far as the eyes can see. I am a warm weather girl and so while you “lose” an hour of sleep, you gain so much more fun outdoors with your family! When it is time to “spring forward” with the clocks – parents don’t often look forward to the impact it has on their little one’s sleep.
However, there are some things you can do to help make the transition to the new time go a little smoother. My first
recommendation is to leave your clocks alone Saturday night- just like a did for “falling back.” Wake up Sunday morning, have breakfast, then go around your house and change your clocks. Psychologically, it will feel much better for everyone if you wait until Sunday morning to change the time.
My best advice for children to help them with the change is to split the difference between the old-time and the new time. How does that work for Spring Daylight Savings?
For school-aged children or children who kicked the naps already, most do not nap and they normally go to bed at 7:00 pm, you would put him to bed at 7:30 pm on Sunday night, the first night of the time change. Do this for 3 nights, putting him/her to bed 30 minutes later than normal, then on the 4th night put him/her to bed at the normal time, 7:00 pm or whatever is normal bedtime for your child.
For children ages 1 through 4 years old who are still napping, on Sunday the first day of the time change, you would put him/her for their first nap 30 minutes later than normal. So if he/she naps at 9:30 am usually, you would put them down at 10:00 am. You would do the same with the afternoon nap if he takes an afternoon nap. For bedtime, if his/her normal bedtime is 7:00 pm, you would put him down at 7:30 pm. Do this for 3 nights after the time change and then on the 4th night, put him/her to bed at 7:00 pm and on 5th-day move naptimes back to normal time. So if your child naps at 9:30 am, put him down at 9:30 am and so on with the rest of the day.
For an infant between 6 months and 1 year old, if bedtime is normally 7:00 pm move bedtime 15 minutes earlier each night until you reach the normal time. So the first night you would put him down at 7:45 pm, the second night at 7:30 pm, and so on. In four nights you should be back at 7:00 pm.
For newborns through 6 months, if their bedtime is not predictable (0-6 months old) simply jump to the new time straight away, they will adjust accordingly.
Sleep can be a challenge and we are always here to help with great free training, downloads, and resources. Join my free Slumber Made Simple Facebook Group, I host monthly free training on Newborn Sleep and for child from 4 months through 5 years in my Save Your Sanity Sleep Bootcamp, and share my secrets to sleep in my 7 Tips for Restful Sleep Guide, which you can access here and start changing your sleep today! Also, check out my Instagram where you can get even more tips and tricks for successful sleep!
My name is Courtney Zentz, a Pediatric Sleep Consultant from Philadelphia, PA, Postpartum Doula, Lactation Counselor and founder of Tiny Transitions. As an award-winning sleep consultant, I help exhausted parents teach their infants & toddlers to sleep well every night with gentle, customized solutions and both group and private coaching options, so your family can all be at their best. Based in Philadelphia, I work in-home and virtually to provide the support families around the globe that need to all be at their best. Join me in my Slumber Made Simple Facebook group, where you can ‘meet’ me in my live weekly Q&As, get valuable free content and build a healthy sleeper for life!