Spring is in the air! More sunshine and longer days are in the near future as we “Spring Forward” with the beginning of Daylight savings time starting on Sunday, March 11 2018. If you have little ones that are not sleeping well, you may be worried that the time change may make those long spring and summer days may feel even longer due to sleep disruption. Good news, this “Spring Forward” time change is less likely to wreak havoc on your child’s sleep. In fact, if you have an earlier riser it may actually feel like they are sleeping in a bit!! Score!
How you handle helping your child adjust to this Spring time change may actually depend on type of sleeper your child is; adaptable sleeper or a sensitive sleeper.
If you have an adaptable sleeper, a “do nothing” approach might be best! If your child is well-rested, you may decide to do nothing but set your clocks ahead and enjoy the extra sleep. That is perfect! Your child will simply wake up and hour later and you will adjust their schedule according to the new times on the clock. Don’t forget to adjust their ‘Ok to Wake’ clocks before bedtime to help keep them on track.
If you child is a sensitive sleeper, making minor adjustments may be the best approach for you. To help them, adjust their schedule (wake times, sleep times, and feedings) by 15-30 minutes each day to help them ease into this new time.
- For example, if your little one has a 7 pm bedtime and 7 am wake time make a few adjustments starting this week! Thursday night, move bedtime up to 6:45pm and wake at 6:45 am the next morning. Friday night, you will have a 6:30pm bedtime and 6:30am wake time, and so on. Gradually pushing back the wake up, feedings and sleep times by just a few minutes each day, can help ease this transition for a sensitive little sleeper.
Regardless of your approach, here are a few tips that can help your family easily spring into Spring!
Spring Time Change Sleep Tips
- Darken the room. Now that the sun will be coming up earlier and staying up later we will want to block out any light that is trying to creep in and wake our little one. Setting up your infant or child’s sleep environment so it is ideal for sleep will help make this time adjustment easier for them.
- Add a white noise. Waking to birds chirping may sound wonderful but these outsides noises can also wake our little one before they are ready and can lead to an overtired child. Add white noise to help minimize these outside noises that may disturb your child’s sleep.
- Get outside. Outside time will help your little one’s body to adjust to the time change. Get outside and enjoy the change in weather.
- Stick with the early bedtime. Although it may be tempting to push bedtime back to soak up some extra daylight, remember that your child’s sleep is a need that must be met. Stick with your normal bedtime and routine to help them adjust to this time change.
Regardless of your approach, give your little one time to adjust. It may take them about a week to get back on track. During this time, make sure you are also allowing your body time to adjust to this time change so that your spring does not uncoil as well!