This article appeared on The Sleep and Wellness Coach. Allison Egidi is a Charlottesville mom of 2 and a certified pediatric sleep consultant and owner of Sleep and Wellness Coach, LLC.Thanks Allison for sharing your article with Charlottesville Moms!
I’ve got good news. The daylight saving spring time change is typically easier to navigate than the fall time change! I know the time changes give a lot of parents heartburn, but I want you to trust me when I tell you there is no need to lose sleep over the time change.
On March 8th at 2 AM, the clock will spring forward. Because it’s moving forward, this is the easier of the two time changes – your child should be waking “later” than normal, rather than the “earlier” waking that happens in the fall.
I recommend doing nothing this week to prepare for the change and then switching to the new time right away on Sunday the 8th.
Our biological sleep rhythms are primarily driven by two things…
- natural light; AND
- our daily schedule
The second factor is why I don’t like to dilly-dally when it comes to shifting to the new time. By Monday morning your household will be on its normal schedule – going to classes, daycare, work, school, etc. at the normal times and eating meals at the typical meal times. This means your child’s sleep should align with the rhythm of the day.
SO WHAT SHOULD YOU DO?
I want you to make a small tweak to your Sunday schedule, and then Monday I want you to forge ahead as if the time change never happened.
Put your child down at their normal bedtime time Saturday night and let them wake at their normal time Sunday morning. Once you are all awake, change the clocks. On Sunday, you’ll start their naps 30 minutes later than normal. For example, if nap time is typically at 12 P.M., you’ll put your little one down at 12:30 P.M. (the old 11:30 A.M.). On Sunday night you’ll put your little own to bed 30 minutes later than normal. For example, if their normal bedtime is 7 P.M., you’ll put them down at 7:30 P.M. (the old 6:30 P.M.).
No matter how naps or bedtime goes on Sunday, Monday it’s back to your normal schedule – normal wake time, nap times, and bedtime. It’s that simple.
Don’t Forget: If your child uses a toddler clock or light system, remember to shift the wake times for Sunday naps and Monday morning.