On Sunday, March 10th it is time to Spring Forward and when we move our clocks forward one hour. Let’s quickly learn about the different options we have for preparing our babies and children for the time change so that we can start getting ourselves mentally and physically prepared.
I find that most babies and toddlers will adjust to the time change within a week or two no matter whether you chose to do anything to prepare them or not. Well rested babies will find it especially easy to adjust to springing forward. However, if you find you have a sensitive sleeper who struggles when they get less sleep, misses a nap or has any changes in their sleep schedule, then you might decide that you want to actively prepare them for the time change to lessen the effect it will have on them.
So what can you do help your babies and toddlers adjust?
Get more sunlight.
Sunlight is incredibly important for keeping our circadian rhythm in sync. To help our little ones adjust to the time change we can get them out and about in the sun to reset their body clocks.
Block out light at night.
Given we are moving the clocks forward an hour we will find that there will be more sunlight around bedtime. To ensure that this doesn’t affect our kids’ ability to fall asleep at night we need to keep those blackout blinds blocking out all of that sunlight. As the sun starts rising earlier it will also help them continue to sleep in to a reasonable time in the mornings.
Maintain regular routines.
Not only does sunlight help with maintaining our circadian rhythm but routines help as well. If we keep our eating, playing and sleeping schedules at normal times, this will help the adjustment to the new clock times.
Make use of the ok to wake clock.
If you have a toddler or older child then be sure to make use of your ok to wake clock. On Saturday, March 9 make sure to move the clock forward one hour, so that your child knows that they have to stay in bed until the new wake up time.
Actively prepare for the week before springing forward.
If you have a sensitive sleeper, or just want to be prepared, you can decide to actively adjust your baby or child in the week leading up to the time change. This means that starting Monday you would move your little one’s sleep schedule (naps and bedtime) by 15 minutes every couple of days. By the end of the week, you will be pretty close to the normal sleep routine that will happen when we move the clocks forward 1 hour.
No matter how you decide to handle spring forward, remember that it is important to make sure that your little one remains well rested and if they happen to lose sleep, you make up for that by putting them to bed early and ensuring they nap well. If you find your little one struggles to adjust to the time change, please do not hesitate to reach out. I offer packages to suit all needs and budgets from a sleep strategy session to a 2-week package of support.