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It's Time To Spring Forward: Daylight Savings Sleep Tips

By Lindsay Pinchuk

By Janeen Hayward, Principal, Swellbeing and BCB Resident Expert

This coming Sunday morning (March 11th) at 2 a.m. daylight savings time begins and the clock springs forward one hour, which means we lose an hour of sleep and gain an hour of sunlight at the end of the day. For some, this is a welcome change because it means that your child’s wake up time will seem more reasonable. For others it may raise questions about how to keep your child on your current schedule. Here are some tips to guide all of you.

Scenario A: Prefer to take advantage of the time change to move your child’s schedule forward by an hour.

1. Put your child to bed on Saturday night per usual. Move your clocks ahead one hour.

2. Let your child sleep until s/he awakens naturally. If that is normally 6:00 a.m., the clocks will now read 7:00 a.m.

3. Proceed with your day but be sure to put your child down one hour later per the clock (i.e. nap used to take place from 12:00-2:00, now takes place from 1:00-3:00; bedtime was 7:00 p.m. but is now 8:00 p.m.).


Scenario B: Prefer to keep current schedule/clock time going forward

1. Put your child to bed on Saturday night per usual. Move your clocks ahead one hour.

2. Wake your child up at his/her normal wake up time per the new clock. This means that your child will lose one hour of sleep overnight.

3. Proceed with your daily schedule using the current clock (ie naps used to occur @ 9, 12 and 4 still occur at those times).

You may wish to get a headstart on this transition by waking your child an hour early on Saturday morning and proceeding with naps and bedtime on hour earlier than usual (remember, the clocks haven’t been changed yet). Then, when your child gets up on Sunday, they are one day into the transition already. This can be especially helpful for school-aged children who will likely be sluggish for a few days (and up to one week) while they make the transition.

janeen hayward

Janeen Hayward is the Principal of Swellbeing, a complete parenting resource.  Swellbeing specializes in smart solutions and sympathetic support for modern parents—and their kids. Simply put, they’re the missing manual to parenthood.For more information visit Janeen’s blog where she writes about parenting topics on a regular basis.  Janeen regularly speaks at Bump Club and Beyond events on sleep, positive discipline, potty training, preparing for a second sibling and more.

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