The Daylight Savings Survival Guide

The Daylight Savings Survival Guide

The Daylight Savings Survival Guide

OK Healthy Moms, Daylight Savings Time will soon be upon us! We have some good news, and some bad news. The bad news is that it’s going to start getting dark at 4:30pm in the next little while – there’s just nothing we can do about that. The good news is that the interruption in your little one’s sleep, thanks to daylight savings, doesn’t have to last for long!

An important goal for establishing a proper sleep routine for babies, toddlers, and children is to have a consistent (and early) bedtime every night. While Daylight Savings Time in the fall can seem fantastic because we get an extra hour of sleep, it can really do a number on our well-crafted sleep habits. Just because the clocks will read 6:00am on Sunday, November 5th, our biological clocks will still read 7:00am. Unlike adults who are likely to enjoy the extra hour of sleep (or at least choose not to get up right away), children are more likely to simply wake at the same time as usual and be ready to start the day.

Happily, there are some things we can do to prepare for, and to recover from, this annual time change. Here are two options to help ease the transition:

Option 1 - Start Early

A few days before the time change, begin to adjust your child’s bedtime schedule by putting him to bed later, in 15 minute increments. That is, if your child is used to going to bed at 7pm, start by putting him to bed at 7:15pm, and if possible, allow him to sleep 15 minutes longer in the morning. The next night, add another 15 minutes to bedtime, and put him to bed at 7:30pm. By the time Daylight Savings Time arrives, he will be going to bed at 8pm, which will become 7pm thanks to the fact that the clocks have been turned back by one hour, so he will be back to getting to sleep at his “regular” bedtime.

Your days will look a little bit like this:

Date Bedtime     
Nov. 1 7:00pm
Nov. 2 7:15pm
Nov. 3 7:30pm
Nov. 4 7:45pm

**DAYLIGHT SAVINGS – Clocks are turned back one hour at 2am on November 5**

Nov. 5                               7:00pm this is the new time, and will feel like 8pm
Nov. 6 7:00pm
Nov. 7 7:00pm

Ensure that you are adjusting nap times by the same intervals. That is, start them later by 15 minutes each day until November 5th, when you will return to normal nap times.

Option 2 – Start Your Recovery the Next Day

If you’re caught off guard by the arrival of Daylight Savings (as I often am!), or if your child is a little more able to recover from changes to her schedule, you can begin to adjust her bedtime after the time change. That is, if your child is used to going to bed at 7pm, put her to bed at 6:30pm for the three days following Daylight Savings Time. This will feel like 7:30pm according to the old time, so bedtime might feel a little late for a few days. After 3 days, adjust her bedtime again, back to 7pm.

Your days will look a little bit like this:

Date Bedtime
Nov. 4 7:00pm

**DAYLIGHT SAVINGS – Clocks are turned back one hour at 2am on November 5**

Nov. 5 6:30pm  
Nov. 6 6:30pm
Nov. 7 6:30pm
Nov. 8 7:00pm

Ensure that you are adjusting nap times by the same intervals, as well as wake up time in the morning – earlier by 30 minutes for 3 days following Daylight Savings Time, after which point you will return to normal times.

If your child is struggling with the time change, be patient and understand that the adjustment can take some time. Be consistent with bedtime routines and move ahead on schedule as little ones are likely to be tired by the time evening rolls around. In the mornings, especially if wake up times are early (according to the new time), give your child a bit of time in his crib or bed before getting up for the day. It is a good idea to avoid reinforcing early wake ups, so that they don’t become the new normal.

Good luck with this transition! We wish you all healthy sleep!


 

Lisa Kvapil and Heather Lielmanis are certified Infant and Toddler Sleep Consultants with WeeSleep, where Healthy Moms get 15% off select sleep packages. They create customized sleep plans for families who are struggling with sleep, and helps them to live rested. Reach out via email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for a FREE 15-MINUTE CONSULTATION on how to achieve better sleep for your family! Find out more here: https://gohealthymoms.com/weesleep

 

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