I say the only benefit at this end of daylight savings, is getting that extra hour of sleep. It’s just such a shame kids don’t agree!
My biggest suggestion to all parents at this end of daylight savings is to leave the clocks alone on the Sunday night – don’t alter the time at all. I know with technology most clocks change themselves, but if you need to manually change the time, I recommend you hold off doing so until late Sunday morning.
“Why?”, I hear you ask? It’s much nicer to see 6:00am on your clock in the morning when you hear your little one wake, than 5:00am! Just get up at your usual time and start the day. After your cup of coffee and a bit of breakfast, then you can go around changing the clocks. It will feel much better this way, trust me!
The best way to move your child’s sleep schedule to the new time is to split the difference…
Children who Don’t Nap:
If bedtime is usually 7:00, on the Sunday the clocks are due to be changed, move bedtime 30mins earlier to 6:30. Keep this bedtime for 3 nights. On the 4th night push bedtime back another half hour, which will be the original bedtime on the new adjusted time.
Toddlers from 12months Still Napping:
On the Sunday the clocks are due to change, move the naptime 30mins earlier than usual (so if naptime is usually 9:30, you would move it to 9:00). Continue this with all daytime naps. Move bedtime 30mins earlier as well (so if bedtime is normally 7:00, on the Sunday you will move it to 6:30). Keep this schedule for 3 nights. One the 4th night, move bedtime an additional 30mins (which should be the original bedtime on the new adjusted time). On the 5th day move naptimes another 30mins, to their original times on the adjusted time.
Baby’s and Infants:
If your baby has a predictable bedtime and naptime (usually over 6 months old), move naptime 15mins earlier starting on the Sunday of the clock change. For example, if your baby usually naps at 9:00, you would move this nap to 8:45. Continue to move naptime and bedtime 15mins earlier until you are back to the original times on the adjusted time. On the 4th day, you should be back to the original schedule.
If your baby’s naptimes and bedtime are not predictable (under 6months old), simply jump to the new time Sunday night and use their awake time as your guide.
Tips to help with this Transition:
The great thing about this time change is that there are more hours of darkness which helps to make the transition a little bit easier. It can result in some early wakings, if over-tiredness creeps in though, so I want to give you some tips in dealing with this also:
- Keep the room dark, and the house quiet to help your child to sleep as long as possible
- Keep your child in their room if they wake until it is at least 6:00am (adjusted time)
- Use a gro clock or similar to help your child know when it is time to get up
- Alternative to the Gro Clock, use a digital alarm clock, tape over the minute numbers so only the hour number shows. Teach your child they aren’t to get up until they see a number 7 (only suitable for older children with ability to read numbers)
- Be patient! Our body’s need up to two or three full weeks to adjust to the new time
- Remain consistent
As well as the early wakings, this end of daylight savings can result in some pushback about going to bed as children are technically going down a full 30mins earlier than usual. It shouldn’t interfere too much with the schedule, but you may find it takes a little bit longer for your child to fall to sleep.
My biggest piece of advice here is to make sure you do all you can to ensure they’re tired enough to sleep earlier than normal. This may mean going outside to run around. If you’re not able to get outside, set up a physical indoor game like an obstacle course that uses muscles to climb, run, jump, crawl, etc. You could also try an indoor play centre, a playdate with friends, or a nice long walk.
Daylights Savings can be a very trying time but with consistency and patience you will all get through it. As always, I’m here to help if you get stuck along the way so please reach out if you need.
Sleep well 😊