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Spring Forward

Spring Daylight Savings Schedule for Babies and Toddlers

My 13-year-old asked me why we adjust our clocks for daylight savings. I explained the whole thing about Ben Franklin and farmers, planting and harvesting, and she looked at me as only a 13-year-old can and said, “We aren’t farmers. Why do we still do this?” It’s a good question, and yet here we are. 

Daylight savings is the bane of most parents’ existence. With my four kids, we have had our fair share of very early mornings in the fall, late nights, and grumpy wake-ups in the spring. Adjusting for daylight savings can take 10-14 days, so be patient and consistent while you make the changes.

 Gradual Schedule Adjustment:

Start gradually shifting your child’s bedtime and wake-up time in the week, leading to daylight savings. Move their schedule by 15 minutes earlier each day to help them acclimate to the time change without drastically disrupting their sleep. If you’d like to start before daylight savings and wake up at 7 am, for example, do a Thursday morning wake up at 6:15 and adjust naps accordingly. You will adjust each day by 15 minutes until you arrive at a 7 am wake-up Sunday morning. For comprehensive schedules, follow me on Instagram or see the charts below! 

My Best Tips for Adjusting Your Baby or Toddler to Spring Forward Daylight Savings

  •  Stick to Routine:

I say “be consistent” to families more than anything else. Maintaining consistency with your child’s bedtime routine, even as you adjust their schedule, is crucial. Familiar rituals like bath time, sleep sackstory time, and cuddles before bed can provide comfort and signal to your little one that it’s time to wind down for sleep, even if their body feels off. 

  • Light

Expose your child to natural light in the morning to help regulate their internal clock and signal that it’s time to wake up. If the weather permits, I encourage you to spend some time outside with your little one daily. In the hour before bedtime, do the opposite. Exposure to natural light can inhibit the body’s natural melatonin production. Dim the lights in the evening or invest in blackout curtains to ensure their bodies have an optimal sleep environment.

  • Be Patient and Flexible:

Be prepared for temporary disruptions to your child’s sleep patterns as they adjust to the time change. We can safely say we all tend to get grouchy when our schedule is disrupted—especially our sleep schedule. 

Have a baby? Knowing the age-appropriate wake window can be helpful when making schedule adjustments. Get my free wake window guide here! What should your schedule look like? Get my free sample schedules here!

Have a toddler? Blackout curtains and an Ok to Wake Clock are really helpful. Toddlers love to push boundaries, and when anything in their lives changes, the boundary-pushing increases. Have a plan, and don’t be surprised if you have to spend a few days reminding your little one of the family rules. 

  • Give It Time:

Remember, resetting your circadian rhythm can take weeks, so try not to stress. If you are already struggling with sleep and this throws a wrench in your whole system, book a free sleep assessment with me or check out my packages so we can work together to get you all some sleep!

Happy sleeping!

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