How to handle daylight savings.

Daylight Savings Time affects us all, but the challenges that come along with it are most noticeable in babies and children because they are much more structured in their sleep routines.  What is the best way to handle the upcoming time change?  My advice is to split the difference.

In the fall, that means moving everything ahead by 30 minutes.  So if your little one usually takes a morning nap around 9:30 you will adjust it to 9:00 for the first 3 days after the time change.  Do the same for all other naps as well as bedtime.  So if your child usually goes to bed at 7:00 pm, I recommend putting him to bed around 6:30 pm (will FEEL like 7:30 pm to your child). 

If you have children over the age of two, you can put a digital clock in the room with a piece of tape over the minutes, so that they can see if it is 6 o’clock or 7 o’clock, but they cannot see the minutes.  Set the clock forward by half an hour so that at 6:30 it says 7:00 and let them get up a little earlier than normal, knowing that by the end of the week they will be back on track and sleeping until their normal wake-up time.

For children under two, I recommend taking a pause. Don't rush in as soon as you hear your baby waking up in the morning because you do not want to send the message that getting up at 6:00 am is okay now.  So if he normally wakes at 7:00 am but is now up at 6:00 am, you should wait ten minutes the first day, and then twenty minutes the second day, and so on, so that by the end of the week he is adjusted and waking at his usual time.

On Day 4 you can get in line with the new time for all naps as well as bedtime.  The time change isn’t easy, but know that everyone’s schedule should be back on track within a week or two.

- Allison.

Allison MacEwen