Anybody else think it’s pretty rough that, within a 4-month span, we have to change our clocks (and thereby screw with our babies’ sleep) TWICE?? But there you have it: the beginning of Daylight Saving Time is almost upon us. On March 13th, we’ll “spring forward”, and if you’re an experienced parent, you know that can mean schedule chaos for your baby or toddler.
Not to worry, though; I have tips!
Three Key Facts That’ll Help You Prep For “Spring Forward”
There are many ways you can prepare for the start of Daylight Saving Time. You can begin dialing your child’s schedule backward by an hour in the days leading up to March 13th (and then, when you adjust the clock forward, all naps and feeding times will be at the “right” times again), or you can do nothing and just roll with whatever happens after the time change. Regardless of how you plan to prep for the start of Daylight Saving Time, however, be sure to keep these tips in mind:
1. Two things will drive your child’s schedule: sunlight and routine
Simply put, sunlight tells us it’s time to wake up (and stay awake). As we approach summer, and our days start to get longer, and our nights shorter, you may find that the extra sunlight is impacting bedtime (making it later) and wake-up time (making it earlier). If that becomes an issue, consider investing in some good room darkening shades.
The daily routine will also help create and reinforce your child’s sleep schedule. As you’re working to adjust to “spring forward”, remember — now is the time to stick with your predictable, daily routines! Doing so will help your baby or toddler adjust to the time change faster.
2. Our internal clocks are powerful things
Some babies’ and toddlers’ internal clocks will be so strong, they’ll defy your carefully-planned schedule. Try as you might, you won’t be able to get your toddler into bed at 8 p.m.; his internal clock will be too busy screaming, “But it’s only 7!”
So respect your child’s internal clock as you create your Daylight Saving Time schedule, and plan to be flexible.
3. Most children will adjust quickly, but some will take longer
Most babies and toddlers will adjust to the time change in a week or so. For some though, it may be more like weeks, with an “s”! If that’s the case with your child, simply ride out this season and trust that as long as you stay consistent, things will work themselves out.
Of course, if they don’t, you can check our Members Area resources for help! We have an e-book devoted to the topic of how to shift your child’s schedule, as well as a tele-seminar with yours truly all about getting back on track after a time change.
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