By Alanna McGinn, Sleep Expert
On Sunday, March 11th at 2:00 am our clocks jump forward by one hour. This can be a tough hit on families everywhere as we all lose an hour of sleep. Suddenly we’re dealing with bright and sunny bedtimes and super cranky kiddos. Here are some suggestions for easing the transition for kids or baby.
Get a Head Start on the Time Change
Slowly introduce your baby to the new time by waking them up slightly earlier than usual. This will also help achieve your child’s desired wake time. If your usual wake time is 6:30 am move it to 6:00 am a few days before the actual change so that once the clocks spring forward you will already be adjusted to the new time. You can go as far as moving the entire day earlier by at least one hour, including meal times, naptimes and bedtimes. It shouldn’t take more than a week for your child to adjust to the new time change.
If things are going well and you’re happy with your baby's sleep schedule, then my advice is to keep wake up and bedtimes the same using the new adjusted time. Our children adjust eventually just as we do. You would wake your child at his usual time on the Sunday morning of the change and carry on the day as usual.
To prepare your baby to sleep soundly this spring, focus on these 3 key sleep tips:
Protect naps as best you can
As the weather gets warmer, it’s easy for you to let naps slide because you tend to be outside and on-the-go more. Practice the 80/20 rule so that even when it’s warm outside you are offering your baby consistent naps in a consistent environment 80% of the time.
Make sure to watch the bedtime clock
With evenings getting brighter, it’s so easy for bedtime to get pushed out too late without us even realizing it. Make sure you are hitting an age-appropriate bedtime for your child consistently so that they aren’t going to bed overtired, which could affect how well they sleep at night.
Set up their sleep environment for spring
- Install blackout blinds to cover up those bright evenings and mornings. Get that melatonin flowin’!
- Use a white noise machine to mask early morning sounds like birds and traffic.
- Make sure baby is wearing breathable and cool pj’s to avoid overheating.
About the Author
Alanna McGinn is a Certified Sleep Consultant and Founder of Good Night Sleep Site – a Global Pediatric and Family Sleep Team. She provides free child and family sleep support through Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. She invites you to join her sleep community as she works towards Good Night Sleep Site’s mission of a healthier rested family unit. For more sleep tips, subscribe to our newsletter and visit Good Night Sleep Site.