Update 2013: At 2 a.m. on the morning of Sunday, March 10, we’ll be springing our clocks forward—and losing an hour of the day, for Daylight Saving Time. Not happy about losing that hour. Now that my kids are older it doesn’t affect their sleep as much, but if you have your baby on a sleep schedule here’s some tips from TZM archives. Happy Weekend.
I just got over the Fall time change, now it’s time to spring forward. How’s the time change going for you? I usually know a few days ahead and start shifting my baby’s schedule gradually. This daylight savings time caught me by surprise. In the U.S. and Canada, the time changes on Sunday, March 8, 2009.
So my baby is on 6:30am wake 6:30 pm sleep schedule. So the good news is if I don’t do anything with his schedule, I get to sleep in until 7:30am -which is really still 6:30 in my mind since the sun is just coming up. But I’m not sure what I want to do? I kind of like the 6:30 to bed schedule. Which gives me time to have some quiet time and dinner with my husband at the end of the day. While I don’t like getting up at 6:30 or even earlier every morning I’ve gotten used to it.
So I decided to take the middle ground. A 7:00am wake to 7:00 sleep schedule. I just started moving his schedule by 1/2 hour today. So everything is 30 minutes later. In a few days I may move him back to 6:30, but I enjoyed the extra half hour of sleep today. Here are some other tips I found useful on the internet.
Spring Forward Sleep Strategies
Your first option is to not do anything. If your baby or toddler or young child is going to sleep at 7 p.m., he will wake up at 8 a.m. the next day. Yay! You get to “sleep in” and all is right with the world. If you want to keep this schedule, you will put him down at the same times you always do and bedtime will be one hour later.
For some, the first option isn’t really an option because they need their child up by a certain time or don’t want to have an 8 p.m. (or later) bedtime. Maybe your child is already going to bed too late and the time change will make her go to bed even later, which has you wondering just when you will spend any time with your spouse or partner or clean the house or relax or whatever.
If you don’t want this schedule, your second option is to wake your baby one hour early the day of the time change whereby he will nap one hour earlier and go to bed one hour earlier, normal time on the clock. There is only one caution. Some people’s internal clock is so strong that no matter what time they wake up, they won’t get sleepy until their “normal” time. That means even if you wake your child an hour earlier, he might not nap early or go to sleep early at bedtime. Imagine you get up at 5 a.m. one day to catch a flight or to get to work for an early meeting. It doesn’t necessarily mean that you will go to bed at 9 p.m. just because you usually go to bed at 10 p.m.
Your third and final option, just like in the Fall, is to split the difference and wake your child just half an hour early and move his schedule slower over the course of 2-3 days. This is option I’m doing.
Whatever the path you choose to take, some kids will just take a few days to even a week or longer to really adjust. Your best bet is to keep to the schedule you make. The light stimulating our eyes and your morning and night routines will be most what drives your kids’ schedules. The same internal clock that drives our sleep schedules also drives our appetites. If you typically have dinner at 5:30 p.m. and bedtime is 7 p.m., it will probably be difficult to maintain a 6:30 p.m. dinner and 8 p.m. bedtime. Whatever drove you to have the 5:30 p.m. dinner in the first place likely has not changed. Just remember to be realistic and not to just focus on one part of the schedule (i.e. just bedtime or just lunch) and set the whole schedule accordingly. The rest will follow.