- Megan Copeland
Springing Forward: 4 Ways to Help Children Adjust
Updated: Jun 27, 2021
Seriously, why do we still observe these time changes? Is it really necessary to disrupt our sleep schedules for more or less light?
Daylight savings is dreadful, and when you have babies and toddlers it’s even worse. Trying to put a toddler to bed earlier than normal is like trying to stuff a square into a circular hole.
If your previous spring fever has you filled with spring dread, continue reading for ways to help you through this difficult time.
Create a cave-like environment
When we spring forward there are many more hours of daylight, and chances are your child’s bedtime will be before the sun sets. To help that natural melatonin kick in we want to create an incredibly dark and cool space so your child will be able to fall asleep and stay asleep. The other part of longer days is the amount of noise that will be present outside. Don’t forget the all important white noise machine in your child’s room to drown out any lawnmowers or people outside enjoying the extra day time.
The gradual move
Starting 3-5 days before the time change, you can gradually move naps and bedtime to 15-30 minutes earlier. If your child goes to bed at 7:30 pm, you can move bedtime to 7:15 day one, and then 7:00 pm on day two, and so on until they are going to bed an hour earlier by the time daylight savings has arrived.
Exhaust them at all causes
The day after Daylight Savings, Sunday, make sure you are providing lots of sunlight, fresh air -- and for toddlers -- tons of outside exercise. Maybe shorten naps if they still take one, so when bedtime arrives an hour early they are exhausted and ready to hit the hay.
That’s right, I said it. Just do nothing and put them to bed at their regular time. There will be a few bumpy nights and most likely some early mornings, but they will eventually fall back into their regular routine if you keep consistent.
So there you have it! Just make sure to be patient as it will most likely take your little ones a bit longer to fall asleep at first. For some it may only take a week and for others it may take a month.
If daylight savings is not your worry but you are struggling in other areas please reach out HERE for a free 15 minute call to discuss your child’s sleep struggles.