Here's a guest post from our friend Dr Angelique Millette who has written an article helping parents figure out an updated sleep schedule for their little ones. The idea is to start adjusting bedtimes a week ahead of the time change.
Sarah & Esther xo
With the time change approaching, I have received many e-mails and phone calls from parents asking how they can help their baby and toddler transition to the new time without upsetting their child’s sleep.
Starting Sunday, March 11, clocks will be set forward one hour, AKA spring forward.
You can help your child by starting adjustments ahead of the time change. Beginning Tuesday night (March 6), begin to put your child down 10 minutes earlier for bed. You can do this by comforting, singing, reading, and starting the bedtime routine 10 minutes earlier. Continue this for the rest of the week. When the time change happens, your baby or toddler will have slowly adjusted to the new time.
If your child's bedtime is 7:00 pm, it will look like this:
Tues. 6:50 pm bedtime
Wed. 6:40 pm bedtime
Thurs. 6:30 pm bedtime
Fri. 6:20 pm bedtime
Sat. 6:10 pm bedtime
Sun. 7 pm bedtime (new time, old time would have been 6 pm)
You can take this time to make schedule/routine adjustments. For example, if your child goes to be on the early side (6 pm) and is waking earlier in the morning (4/6 am) you can keep their bedtime the same without using the 10-minute adjustments suggested above. So, if your baby goes to bed at 6 pm and wakes at 5 am, don’t make any adjustments. With the time change, your child’s new bedtime will be 7 pm and the new wake up time will be 6 am.
It takes about a week for a baby/toddler to adjust to the new time. Your little one may be a bit cranky, or seem more tired and may need more nap times during the day. Adjust to your child’s needs and put down for a nap 15 minutes earlier if your child seems over tired. Otherwise, stick to your routine and keep the daytime naps the same time.
Dr. Angelique Millette
Family Sleep Consultant, Parent Educator, and creator of The Millette Method™