Daylight savings and the spring forward time change is NO fun for parents when it comes to baby and toddler sleep. It always feels like as soon as you get your little one on a solid schedule, daylight savings seems to ruin everything!
Fear not, my friends- this time change is actually MUCH less evil than its twin, the fall back time change. Your little one’s schedule is shifting later, not earlier. Nonetheless, because we WILL be shifting around our little ones’ schedules, you’re still going to want an action plan as to how to get their schedules back on track as quickly as possible.
In this episode, I’m going to give you that survival so you know exactly how to deal with baby and toddler sleep during daylight savings, specifically the spring forward time change. Enjoy!
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Speaker 1: (00:04)
Hey there, you’re listening to the, My Sleeping Baby podcast, which is all about baby and child sleep. I’m so excited to teach you how you can get your little ones sleeping so that you can sleep too and enjoy parenthood to its fullest. I’m Eva Klein, your resident’s sleep expert, mom of three, founder of the Sleep Bible online coaching program, and lover of all things sleep and motherhood. If you’re looking for tangible solutions for your little one sleep woes or you simply want to learn more, this podcast is for you. For more information, check out mysleepingbaby.com and you can follow me on Instagram and Facebook @mysleepingbaby.
Hi everyone. We’re going to talk all about daylight savings, spring forward time change and baby sleep, which is coming up in a little bit. And I know that the term time change just makes every parent of a baby or a young child go drat. This is the worst. And it really is. These time changes are just, they mess with you because usually you feel like you’ve got your little one on this great routine. You’ve got a great rhythm going on. And then all of a sudden this time change just has to throw everything out the window. So let’s talk about what happens during spring forward daylight savings and what you can do about baby sleep. So I just want to start off by saying that this specific time change is a lot less evil than the fallback time change. Honestly, this is really not the time change for the most part that we need to be worrying about here, because unlike the fall back time, change where your little one schedule goes back by an hour.
And so your little one’s six 30 wake up becomes a five 30, wake up with the spring forward time change. It’s the opposite. Your little one’s 6:30 AM wake up becomes seven 30 overnight. And so it’s a lot less scary of a time change because we are in much more of a position of control here where, you know, if you want your little ones, six 30 wake time to remain the same and you don’t want six 30 becoming seven 30, it’s much, much easier to fix than forcing your little one to wake up at six 30 as opposed to five 30. So that is the good news.
All right. So first let’s talk about what to do in terms of your little baby sleep schedule come the spring forward daylight savings. If your little one is still napping. So I’ll tell you what my action plan is with my son who was two and a half. So JJ still takes a solid two and a half hour nap, seven days a week. It’s usually from about one 30, till four, sometimes it’s one to three 30. And so I’ll tell you first off, a lot of people asking about what they can do to prep their little one for this spring for time change. I don’t do any preparation for this one, mainly just because first of all, he’s in daycare five days a week, he is he’s in a morning program. I pick him up at one o’clock, but in order for me to be able to prep and prep his schedule for this upcoming time change, I’d have to pick him up early and I just don’t want to do that.
It just doesn’t work. So there really isn’t feasibly any preparation I can do, nor if any of you have your little ones in daycare, it’s just not possible. And you know what it’s okay because here’s what I’m going to do instead. So JJ is morning. Wake time is usually around seven. And so with the spring forward time change does is it takes an hour out of the night for us. And so 7:00 AM automatically becomes 8:00 AM. And so it’s kind of like 6:00 AM becomes 7:00 AM. And so I’m not going to let him sleep all the way until 8:00 AM. Even though that would get him a full night’s sleep because 8:00 AM is just too late of a time for him to be starting his day. He’s not going to be napping till later he won’t go to bed until later it doesn’t work around here. But if I wake him up at 7:00 AM new time, he’s probably going to be really, really tired and cranky because he would have missed out on a full hour’s worth of night’s sleep.
And so what I’m probably going to do is compromise and wake him up at seven 30 new time. So seven 30 new time is like six 30 old times. So he’ll be missing out on about 30 minutes of sleep. Is it, does it mean he’s going to be a little bit crankier than usual? Probably, you know, that’s and it’s, it’s par for the course, right? Because remember daylights savings does suck when it comes to baby sleep, even the spring forward one. And so this way I get him up at seven 30 new time, and then he will still, I will make sure to jam pack the morning with lots of activities and lots of things to tire him out. So that by one 30 new time, he will be ready to go down for his nap, which is 1230 old time. He doesn’t usually nap around 1230, but if I make sure to really jam pack the morning with lots of activities, then the goal is for him to actually be tired by one 30 new time.
And then if I can get him down one 30 new time, then I’ve got him back on his regular schedule where he naps from say one 30. So four goes down for the night for about eight, 15, eight 30, and then he is back on the schedule that he is used to being on. I mean, it might take him a couple of days still to adjust on the less and not be completely out of sorts. But that’s one tip that you can, that you can utilize to, to Quicken the process, to get your little one back onto their regular schedule. And that is just, don’t let them sleep in. We’ll wake them up 30 minutes earlier than usual so that you can get them down for their nap either on time or a little bit earlier than usual. And then you’ll be able to get them down for the night at the right time.
So let’s use an example of a, of a, a baby that’s napping twice a day. So let’s say you have a one-year-old who’s usually up for the day around seven and then takes their first nap around 10. So it’s the same thing. 7:00 AM becomes 8:00 AM. If I was in your shoes, I probably wouldn’t let your little one sleep all the way in and sell AIDS. Maybe wake them up at seven 30 and then that first nap of the day will be 10 30. So it’s 30 minutes later than usual, but it’ll only take you a couple of days to get them back on track. So instead of your little one napping at, let’s say 10 and two 30, they’ll be napping instead on this day at 10 30 and three new time, but then here’s what you can do guys the next morning, rather than letting them sleep until seven 30, just wake them up at seven.
And so that’s what I’m going to be doing with my son. So on the Sunday, he’ll get woken up at seven 30 for the day new time by the Monday when he is back in school and daycare is starting again. And you know, we’re off to a new week. He’s gotta be up for the day at seven o’clock new time anyways, and then that’s going to allow his body to adjust. And so if you let your little one sleep in on Sunday and they sleep in all the way until eight, when they’re usually waking up at seven the next day, just wake them up earlier and earlier, that’s really what the key is here, because what this time change is doing is it’s shifting the schedule later, if that works for you. Great. But if it doesn’t work, then every day, just wake them up a little bit earlier until you get them back on their previous schedule, because the morning wake time is important here, right?
The morning wake time is what determines the nap times. And then the nap times determined the bedtime. And so it all stems from that morning, wake time. So as long as you spend those next few days, gradually waking your little one up earlier and earlier, they will get back on to their regular schedule. But for those of you who have little ones who are not napping anymore, so maybe you have a three-year-old or a four-year-old who wakes up for the day around seven and then goes to bed for the night for seven 30. And you don’t want your baby waking up at eight and going to sleep for eight 30 because that’s exactly what the spring forward daylight savings does if you don’t intervene. And so what I would do in that situation, what I did do, what I am going to do with my girls who are now nine and seven, of course, who aren’t of course are not napping, is as follows.
I am going to make sure that they are out for the day by seven or seven 30 new time. So that is six to six 30 old time. What I am also going to make sure of is that we have a jam packed day with lots of activity, so that by, by the time they go to sleep, which is now between eight and eight 30, they will be tired. And that’s what I would suggest that you do. If your, if your little ones are not napping. So if you have a, if you have a four-year-old who was waking up at seven, going to bed at seven 30 and you don’t want everything shifted by an hour, just have a really busy day planned with lots of activity so that they are actually tired by, let’s say seven 30 new time, which is six 30 old time.
And then of course the key here, if they still don’t go to bed until later, because they’re just not tired, that’s fine. Just make sure that the next morning you start waking them up earlier so that they do get tired by their normal, regular bedtime. And if I didn’t mention this before, this is very, very important. Make sure that you had heavy duty blackout blinds in your little one’s rooms, because what the spring board time change does is it lengthens the day and it, it shifts the day later. And so it means that all of a sudden, we in the Northern hemisphere are going to be getting a lot more natural sunlight in those early evening hours. And so on top of your little ones, claiming that they’re not tired because their whole day got shifted an hour later, and they’re legitimately not tired when they have all this sunlight beaming through the room, which is going to tell their bodies that it’s time to wake up and it’s time to go and play.
It’s going to be extra hard for them to actually be able to go to sleep and stay asleep. So if you haven’t already installed some heavy duty blackout lines in your little one’s room, I would make a beeline for home Depot or, you know, your nearest hardware store, your nearest, you know, decor store, even Ikea has got really fantastic blackout lines. And I would get those app immediately. Now let’s talk about what you can do. If you have a little one who is an early riser who has been lately waking you up at the crack of Dawn, here’s the good news for you is that this spring forward daylight savings is great for baby and toddler sleep, kind of like mother nature, the universe, you know, handing you a gift on a silver platter because your little ones, 5:30 AM wake time is going to automatically get shifted to six 30, thanks to this spring of forward time change.
And so you want to take full advantage of that. And so my biggest piece of advice would be when your little ones wake time becomes six 30 as of that Sunday morning, make sure that his naps also get shifted later to account for that because clearly what we need to do here, if you’ve got a chronic early riser is just shift their whole schedule later and make sure that everything gets shifted later, not just the morning, wake time. So if your little one is napping twice a day, and that first nap of the day usually happens around nine, allow it to shift to 10. Don’t keep that morning nap at nine, because then that’s going to undo this amazing benefit that Springs spring forward, time changes offering you. And last but not least just be patient with your little ones. Time changes are no fun.
They stink. We want them gone, but unfortunately it doesn’t look like they’re going anywhere anytime soon. And so we just need to do our best to muddle through them. And it is very normal to have a few rough days of fussy, cranky, overtired, babies, and toddlers and preschoolers. I mean, let’s remember it’s very normal for us as adults to struggle for a few days, adapting to this new time change. So be easy on yourself. Go easy on your little ones, give everybody a few days to adjust and I promise you they will adjust. And remember this time change is not nearly as bad as the other one. So as long as you know what to do, and you have an action plan, you will be just fine.
Thank you so much, Nicole. Thanks guys for listening. Have a great day. Thank you so much for listening. If you enjoyed this episode, please subscribe, leave a review and share this episode with a friend who can benefit from it. I also love hearing from my listeners. So feel free to DM me on Instagram @mysleepingbaby, or send me an email at email@example.com until next time have a wonderful restful nights.
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