Daylight Savings Time Adjustment

I am getting anxious about the upcoming clock change. Do I push bedtime later or earlier? Change meal times? Any other changes I can make to help this transition go smoother?

I never worried about these things before I became a mom! :yawning_face:

Hi,

I am a sleep consultant and owner of Sleep Soundly Consulting. Changing the clocks can certainly impact sleep (for children and adults!), but there are a few things you can do to have a more successful spring forward. You can do nothing, and starting on Sunday adjust all meals, naps and bedtimes to the clock. If your child is napping, it is especially important to wake them up Sunday morning at the time they normally wake. If your child typically wakes at 7am, you should wake him or her at 7am on Sunday (even though it will feel like 6am). This will help to keep naps at appropriate times. If your child usually goes to bed at 7pm, but him or her to bed at 7pm. It can take a few days or even a week for our body’s internal clock to adjust, but things should get back on track.

The other option is to gradually adjust your schedule a few days before. Start everything, meals, naps, bedtime, 10-20 minutes earlier a few days (meaning start today!). If your child wakes at 7am, wake them 10-20 min earlier today, and then 10-20 minutes earlier tomorrow, etc. If your child naps at 1pm, start the nap 10-20 min earlier today, then 10-20 minutes earlier tomorrow, etc. Follow the same plan for bedtime. This allows your child’s body to begin adjusting to the change. By Sunday, you should be on track to starting your schedule based on the clock time.

Room darkening shades are really helpful to keep the room dark at bedtime and getting lots of natural light during wake times should also help.

I just wrote a blog post about the clock change and you can find it on my website. It has a few more tips for handling the change:

Let me know if you have other questions. Feel free to email me: johanna@sleepsoundlyconsulting.com

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These tips are so helpful, especially because I feel like my little one was so sensitive to the change in the fall. In your experience, which suggestion do you feel works the best for most kids? Thanks!

Hi,

I am happy to be able to help! For sensitive sleepers I usually recommend preparing a few days in advance, especially waking him or her in the morning. No matter what you choose, be patient and consistent, as your child will probably need some time to adjust to the change.

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Thanks for the suggestions! So far we are adjusting pretty well!