Tips for Dealing with Daylight Savings Time
This small change can mess with the entire families sleep schedule and make everyone exhausted. Here are some tips to help you transition.
For Fall Back
If your little one usually takes a morning nap around 9:30, you will adjust this to 9:00 for the three days after the time change. Do the same for the afternoon nap. Put your child to bed half an hour earlier for the night. If he goes to bed at 730 pm normally, put him down at 7 (remember this will feel like 8). And it will take about a week for your child’s body to get used to this. If you have children over the age of two, you can put a digital clock in the room and put a piece of tape over the minutes, so that they can see if it is 6 o’clock or 7 o’clock, but they cannot see the minutes, which often confuses toddlers. Just set the clock forward half an hour so that at 6:30 it says 7:00 and let them get up a little earlier than normal, knowing that, by the end of the week, they will be back on track and sleep until their normal wakeup time.
A baby can’t tell time, so instead wait 15 minutes each day. So if your baby wakes at 7 am normally and starts calling out at 6 am (new time), wait till 615 the first day then go and get her, 630 the next, then 645 and on morning four go and get her at 7 new time. Do the early bedtimes and naps for three days and nights and on night four switch everything to the new time.
For Spring Forward
The same “split the difference” rule applies. The exception is that her 9 am nap will now be at 930 new time (which is actually 1⁄2 hour earlier at 830). Same for the afternoon nap and bedtime. Your baby may be a bit under tired and may play or fuss prior to falling asleep, but on night four move every nap and bedtime to the same routine but new time. Spring can be difficult because it is lighter, longer. Close the blinds after dinner during the transition and ensure your child’s sleep space is very dark.
Questions? I am happy to help – Call Paramount Pediatrics 604-560-8709 and set up an appointment!
-Jenn Leckie, RN