Adjusting Your Child’s Sleep for Daylight Savings
Daylight Savings Time is right around the corner … wait, does that mean spring is coming? Woohoo!
If you live in a cold climate like us, this means soon we can open our windows for fresh air, and the children can get outside more to burn off that energy which always means they will sleep better too.
The Spring time change is always an easier adjustment than the dreaded fall time change when everyone’s children are waking up at the crack of dawn.
If your child currently wakes earlier than you would like, then this time change will come in handy, and my recommendation to you is to do nothing!! 6 am is the new 7 am… sounds amazing? I think so.
If your child currently wakes up just in time to get out the door for work or school, then we will need to do some adjusting. Here are some tips to keep sleep on track when those clocks spring forward.
- Adjusting your child’s schedule
Three days prior to the time change, bump nap times and bedtimes forward by 30 minutes. If your child’s first nap is 9 am, bump to 9:30 am. If their bedtime is 7 pm, bump to 7:30 pm. Do this for 3 days and then jump back to regular times the day of the time change. The extra effort to do this will be worth it. As a result, you’ll have a well-adjusted baby, and more peace of mind for you!
- Blackout blinds
Adding some extra daylight to our days is great, but when it comes to our babies and toddlers sleep, it can cause an issue if the room is now too bright. We recommend blackout blinds and curtains so that the room is as dark as possible.
Can’t see your hand in front of your face when the lights are off? Perfect! Just how we like it. Light can be very disruptive to sleep. Keeping the room dark will help your little ones connect their sleep cycles and take nice long naps and sleep past that early morning sunrise.
- Sound machines
Now that the sunrise is starting to happen earlier, there is more outside noise occurring. The morning birds are singing away. Sure, those sounds are a lovely reminder that spring is in full swing, but it’s also another thing that can disrupt your baby’s sleep.
Sound machines must be set to white noise and on continuously throughout nap and nighttime sleep. Sound machines work especially great during your child’s light stage of sleep so that the slightest sounds aren’t waking them.
- Toddler Ok-to wake clocks
The Ok-to wake clock is a great tool for setting desired sleep and wake times for toddlers. The clocks allow you to set a time based on when you decide it’s okay for your child to wake. If you set the clock for 7am then at 7am, the clock will change to yellow or whatever colour you set it for which signals to your toddler that it is morning time and it's ok to get up for the day.
These clocks are great for children over three years old who are able to comprehend and follow a schedule by clock cues.
Remember, if you have a plan and feel on top of things, it doesn’t always go according to schedule and that’s OK! It may take up to 7 days for you and your family to adjust and that is totally normal!
Sticking to your daily routine, children thrive off routine.
- Amber Monette & Natalie Moran