Adjusting to Daylight Savings

Sleepy ToddlerDaylight Savings does a number on our childrens’ sleep schedules.

Preparing a few days in advance can help reduce the disruption and get your baby back on track sooner.

Here are a few tips to help transition into the time change, and keep your little one happy and well-rested.

  • Begin by shifting your child’s bedtime by fifteen minutes a few days early. If your child normally goes to bed at 8 p.m., lay her down at 7:45. The next night, at 7:30, and the next at 7:15. This will turn into 8:15 p.m. after the time change, and you are back on track for a normal sleep schedule.
  • Bright light is your friend in the morning. Sunlight or even indoor lights will help your child’s brain recognize it is time to wake up.
  • Bright light is your foe at night. Dark curtains that block out the sunlight will give your child’s brain the cue that it is time for sleep.
  • Change your daytime routine to match the new schedule. If you are waking up your child fifteen minutes earlier, have lunch fifteen minutes earlier than usual, lay down for a nap fifteen minutes earlier than usual, etc;
  • Keep the stress level to a minimum. Daylight Savings is not the ideal time to start potty-training or weaning off the pacifier. Extra disruptions to the routine can keep your child from adjusting as easily to the new sleep schedule.
  • Be prepared for grumpiness. Your child may be overtired despite your best efforts, so stay calm and stick to the plan. Consistency and patience is key for a successful transition to the new time table.