I think we can all agree that time changes should be outlawed, right? They’re completely archaic and totally pointless in this day and age. However, it doesn’t sound like they’re disappearing anytime soon. So as parents of babies and toddlers, we really need to know how to best navigate these awful time changes.
Because we will be shifting our clocks forward by 1 hour this weekend, many of you want to know how to handle your child’s sleep! This time change is typically the less evil one, but it’s still a sleep stealer in many circumstances.
Here’s your spring forward action plan:
- Install blackout blinds if you don’t already have them in your child’s room.
- Gradually push your child’s naps EARLIER so that your baby is back on his previous nap schedule within the week. On Sunday, you might need to wake your baby up from her last nap a bit earlier so that you can get her down earlier for bedtime. The next morning, wake your baby up at his normal morning wake time so that his schedule is back on track.
- If you have a child who no longer naps, try to plan LOTS of non-stop activities that day. See, thanks to the time change, his 7pm bedtime will now be 8pm! So your goal is to tire out your child so that he’ll be wiped and be ready for bed a bit earlier than usual. Even if he doesn’t fall asleep until later, wake him up at his normal time the next morning to help his body adjust to the new time.
Now, what if you have an early riser on your hands? Good news folks! The universe is handing you a wonderful gift on a silver platter. And that gift is a later schedule, if you play your cards right! So let’s say that your baby is consistently sleeping through the night but her schedule is just too early. Allow her entire schedule to naturally shift one hour later, getting you a later wake time!
Lastly, remember to be patient. Time changes totally stink and sometimes your child might just need time to get over this hump.