Spring Forward But Save Your Child’s Sleep
So you have a child who sleeps well and you are excited for the promise of spring around the corner. And then you realize it’s that time of year again…daylight savings and time to “spring” the clocks ahead!
If you have a plan for the upcoming time change chances are your baby will be right on track with very little disturbance, if any.
When we move our clocks ahead one hour on Sunday, March 11 it may seem wonderful to have your child sleep the extra hour on Sunday morning. For some that adjustment works just fine and you are ok with the new schedule. Some of you may have a child that is waking too early in the morning and you are welcoming this healthy change. If this is the case you needn’t do a single thing! Just be sure to keep your child on this schedule by having a good solid routine that has your child in bed at the same time each night so they will wake at the same time each morning. So if your child usually wakes at 6 am but is now sleeping til 7, you will adjust bedtime to reflect that change.
For those that have to be up and out in the morning, that may not be convenient. There is nothing worse than having to wake a sleeping baby so getting them on their new schedule before the time change is the best plan. To your child the new 7 am will feel like 6 am and if they are used to getting up at 7 the adjustment can be tough. You can start by making your child’s bedtime earlier by 15 minutes for 2 nights then another 15 minutes and so on until you have made their bedtime one hour earlier by the Saturday night that the time will change. So if your child usually goes to bed at 7, for 2 nights they will go to bed at 6:45 and then 2 nights at 6:30, then 2 nights at 6:15 so that they will be going to bed at 6:00 on the Saturday of the change (the clocks will spring ahead and it will be 7 by the next night). Be sure you make the adjustments for naps the next day as well.
Keeping your child’s room very dark until wake up time and then offering natural sun light right after they wake up is a great way to help their bodies adjust to their new sleep times.
Remember that any changes to your child’s sleep can take a week or so for them to adjust to. Consistency is key so if you stick to the schedule they will be on track in no time!
If you are really struggling with your child’s sleep and feel they aren’t getting enough sleep you can contact Jillian for a FREE 15 minute phone consultation and find out how she can help!