How to Adjust Your Kids to Spring Forward
As we are now approaching spring, it's time once again to think about helping your little ones with the daylight savings adjustment.
DAYLIGHT SAVINGS - SPRING FORWARD
During the time changes that happens twice a year childrens sleeping patterns often get thrown off. In fact as your approach the time change you may find your little one starting to naturally wake up a litlte earlier.
Spring Forward falls on Sunday, March 10, 2013 at 2:00:00 AM this year, when clocks are turned forward 1 hour to become Sunday, March 10, 2013 at 3:00:00 AM. Of course, most of us are asleep at that time, so we make the change before bed.
PREPARING FOR SPRING FORWARD
Here are some tips to help with the springtime changes when the clocks go forward by one hour. This article is written based on a baby or child who goes to bed at 7pm and wakes at 7am. This year the clocks will be changing before you go to bed Saturday March 9th.
APPROACH 1) Cold turkey - Suited for 12 mths and over.
- On the evening of the time change put your baby/child to bed at the normal time (7pm) and before you go to bed move all of your clocks forward by one hour.
- Set your alarm clock or your childs alarm clock if they use one to their normal wake up time (7am for example). Initially their body will think that it is 6am so they may be a little slow to start and a little groggy as they have missed out on one hours worth of sleep. It can sometimes take a day or two but then they will be fine. If you didnt wake up your child at the normal time then they would probably sleep in what would appear to be slightly later than the day before. Although you know its not really.
- Stay on 'real' time all day and don't make adjustments for the time change or try and compensate for the lost hour, keep all naps according to the new time and at the regular normal time.
- Keep all meals/feeds on the new time and at the regular normal time.
- Put your child to bed at their normal bedtime on the Sunday evening (7pm) even though it may feel like 6pm to them, if they do not look tired at all push it to 7.30pm, expect them to take a little longer to fall asleep on the first night but once again don't try to compensate by keep everything on the new time or as close to as possible.
APPROACH 2) Gradual - better for smaller infant, under 12 months.
You can do a gradual approach 2 ways:
1) On the Thursday night on the build up to the time change make small changes of 15 minutes earlier each night. (6.45pm/6.30pm/6.15pm/6.00pm), then the 6pm will be 7pm once the clocks have gone forward. you have to also move their whole day earlier to compensate as well to match the new time.
2) On the Saturday night that the clocks are going to change put your child to bed 30 minutes earlier than normal bedtime (6.30pm) and then 30 minutes earlier the next night (6.30pm new time)
Along with the time changes come longer lighter days and shorter nights or so it appears. You may be tempted to put your baby or child to bed later as it feels unnatural to put them to bed so early when it is so light out. Don't give into this temptation, keep your normal bedtime as young children still need the same amount of sleep and if you get into the habit of moving bedtime later they will become overtired, if light in a childs room is an issue, then invest in some black out blinds to help block out the extra light.
Hope this helps, Hooray spring is here!