Tips for Daylight Savings this weekend
The daylight savings transition is this weekend. Before I had a kid, I didn't mind the fall-back daylight savings time because you get an extra hour of sleep. Although I I don't like that it will be dark at 5:30 at night.
But now that I have a kiddo, I don't love the time change. I mean, why do we have to mess with my son's great sleep by changing the time twice a year?! And fall-back means your baby's normal wake-up time of 6am will now be 5am until his body adjusts. Oooooh, I really detest getting up at 5am. Don't you?
So be prepared for early mornings for a week or two after the time change. It took my son a full 2 weeks to start sleeping until 6:30 again but every kid is different.
Keep reading to learn how to make the time change as smooth as possible.
My advice is to “split the difference.”
For “Fall Back,” my recommendation to all parents is just to leave the clocks alone so it’s not a psychologically upsetting event to see your little one up an hour earlier. On Sunday, 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!
But you'll want to start adjusting your baby's naps. So, for example, if your little one usually takes a morning nap around 9:30am, you will adjust this to 9:00 for the three days after the time change. It will be a bit of a push for your child because it will feel like 10am. But not so much that it will cause much damage to her schedule. Do the same for the afternoon nap. Do this for 3 days and then go back to the usual nap time on the fourth day.
Now for bedtime. Let’s say your child usually goes to bed at 7 p.m. I recommend putting him to bed at 6:30 p.m. for the first three nights following the time change. (This will FEEL like 7:30 to your child.) And it will take about a week or two for your child’s body to get used to this. (It takes everybody’s body roughly one week to adjust any kind of change in sleeping habits.) On the fourth night, you're back to his normal 7:00 bedtime.
If you have children over the age of two, you can use a clock that you set to light up when it's morning. (My favorite is the OK to Wake clock.) Set the clock to light up half an hour early at first. And then move it later as his body adjusts to the new time. By the end of the week, they will be back on track and sleep until their normal wakeup time.
If you are dealing with a baby, you cannot do that. So don't rush in as soon as you hear your baby waking up. You don't want to send a message that getting up at 6 a.m. is okay now. So if she normally wakes at 7:00, but is now up at 6:00, you will wait until 6:10 to get her up the first day. And then 6:20 the next day, then 6:30 the next day, etc. By the end of the week (or 2), your baby’s schedule should be adjusted to the new time and waking up at their usual hour.
I hope these tips help ease the transition of daylight savings time. Feel free to contact me if you have any questions!