Written by: Jessica Diamond, MPH, RDN Daylight Saving Time – otherwise known as “Spring Forward” – is quickly approaching. What does this mean? After the clock springs forward one hour on Sunday, March 13, 2022, we lose an hour and it’ll be darker earlier in the morning and lighter earlier in the evening. Pre-kids, we […]
Written by: Jessica Diamond, MPH, RDN
Daylight Saving Time – otherwise known as “Spring Forward” – is quickly approaching. What does this mean? After the clock springs forward one hour on Sunday, March 13, 2022, we lose an hour and it’ll be darker earlier in the morning and lighter earlier in the evening.
Pre-kids, we didn’t think about the time change all that much except for the fact that we lose an hour of sleep (because 7am becomes 8am). With kids, it can be much more anxiety-provoking since you might worry about your little one’s sleep being thrown off. But we’ve got a few approaches that make the time change a lot easier! Pick approach #1 or #2 (or some version in between) and then roll with it!
Approach #1: The Gradual Shift
Starting a week or so before Daylight Saving Time, shift your baby or child’s sleep schedule 5-15 minutes earlier each day until Daylight Savings on the 13th. This means waking up 5-15 minutes earlier, napping 5-15 minutes earlier, and making bedtime 5-15 minutes earlier. Each day, push your schedule earlier another 5-15 minutes.
By Sunday night, bedtime will be closer to the new normal bedtime. How do you decide whether to start with 5 minutes or 15 minutes? It just depends on your child and how adaptable to sleep schedule changes they tend to be.
Here’s an example schedule:
|Current Schedule||Day 1||Day 2|
|Wake up||7:00AM||6:45 AM||6:30 AM|
|Nap #1||9:00AM||8:45 AM||8:30 AM|
|Nap #2||2:00PM||1:45 PM||1:30 PM|
|Bedtime||7:00PM||6:45 PM||6:30 PM|
Approach #2: Do Nothing
Yep, that’s right, you can also do nothing! Just put your child to bed one hour later on Monday night when the clock says 7pm but it feels like 6pm. Many kids can adjust just fine when Daylight Saving hits, and at worst, they’re a little groggy for a couple of days to a week.
One word of caution: this doesn’t work for every child, and it is usually more successful for toddlers and older kids, rather than babies.
If you find your kid is naturally going to bed a little earlier or waking up a little earlier right now in the days leading up to Daylight savings, don’t intervene. Just roll with it and consider yourself lucky!
And remember, no matter how Daylight Saving Time affects your little ones sleep, it’s a phase and with time will normalize out.
Want some newborn sleep tips? Check out: