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3 Ways to Adjust Baby and Toddler Sleep to Daylight Saving Time in Spring


Born Happy, Nashville, TN, Tennessee, Baby Sleep Coach, Baby Sleep Consultant, Toddler Sleep Coach, Toddler Sleep Consultant, Parent Coach, Sleep, Overnight Waking, Toddler Sleep, Preschooler Sleep, Baby Sleep, Daylight Saving Time

It's just about time to Spring Forward in 2023.


So how do you actually adjust your baby or toddler's sleep to Daylight Saving Time?


I think I speak for everyone when I say YAY to sunlight after 5PM as we Spring Forward.

As a reminder (because I always get confused), Spring Forward = the new 8PM will feel like the old 7PM.

Check out my favorite ways to manage the time change for Spring Daylight Saving Time.






Daylight Saving Time FAQ


Because Daylight Saving Time confuses the heck out of me, let's cover the basics.

When does the time change in 2022?

Fall Back 2023 - Sunday, November 5, 2023

Spring Forward 2023 - Sunday, March 12, 2023

Do we lose or gain an hour when Falling Back?

Do we lose or gain an hour when Springing Forward?

Born Happy, Nashville, TN, Tennessee, Baby Sleep Coach, Baby Sleep Consultant, Toddler Sleep Coach, Toddler Sleep Consultant, Parent Coach, Sleep, Overnight Waking, Toddler Sleep, Preschooler Sleep, Baby Sleep, Daylight Saving Time

1. Toddler/Preschooler: Skip Nap


This is a good way to adjust to daylight savings in the spring if your child

  • Naps about 1-1.5 hr/day or less

  • Can skip a nap without falling apart (mood/energy)


Consider skipping your toddler's nap the first day (Sunday) of Daylight Saving Time. Or at least cutting it short.


Your toddler may not be their best self as the day comes to a close. But with no nap, he/she will likely be tired enough to go to bed an hour earlier than usual, which will get them back on track.


Example: bedtime is usually 7PM, on Sunday that would be 8PM, but with skipping a nap, you can put them down closer to their usual 7PM bedtime.



Born Happy, Nashville, TN, Tennessee, Baby Sleep Coach, Baby Sleep Consultant, Toddler Sleep Coach, Toddler Sleep Consultant, Parent Coach, Sleep, Overnight Waking, Toddler Sleep, Preschooler Sleep, Baby Sleep, Daylight Saving Time


2. Toddler/Preschooler: Put to Bed at What Feels Like Usual Time


This is a good way to adjust to daylight savings in the fall if your child

  • is not sensitive to an exact amount of overnight sleep

  • still naps, and can have a rest during the day to help make up for lost overnight sleep


If your child typically goes to sleep at 7PM, and isn't tired until 8PM on DST day (since we are springing forward), put him to bed at 8PM.


To get him on track with the Springing Forward time, be sure to wake him up the next morning at his usual wake time.


He will have had 1 hr less sleep, but will be closer to being on track with timing when going to bed that night.


Born Happy, Nashville, TN, Tennessee, Baby Sleep Coach, Baby Sleep Consultant, Toddler Sleep Coach, Toddler Sleep Consultant, Parent Coach, Sleep, Overnight Waking, Toddler Sleep, Preschooler Sleep, Baby Sleep, Daylight Saving Time

3. Baby/Toddler: Gradual Changes


Making gradual changes is the most common way to adjust your toddler's sleep for Daylight Saving Time.


This is good way to adjust your child to daylight saving time in the fall if your child is:

  • 0-12 months

  • toddlers who are sensitive to changes with sleep


Making gradual changes works best for most children, even those who are sensitive to any changes with their sleep.


Move bedtime back by 15 minutes each night until you are at the "new" normal time. You can do this as quickly (15 min/night) or slowly (15 min/2-3 nights) as your kid can tolerate.


How To Gradually Adjust Your Toddler's Sleep for Daylight Saving Time

  1. Move your child's bedtime (and nap times) 15 minutes earlier

    1. every 1-3 days

    2. for the next 4-12 days

    3. If your child typically goes to bed at 8PM, when we spring forward, it will feel like 8PM when it is really 9PM, therefore bedtime will initially be at 845PM, just 15 minutes earlier than usual. Confusing enough?

  2. Adjust more gradually if...

    1. most gradual adjustment = move bedtime 15 minutes earlier every 3 days, over a 12-day period

    2. medium gradual adjustment = move bedtime 15 minutes earlier every 2 days over an 8-day period

    3. this generally works well for toddlers or children who are more sensitive to the timing of sleep

    4. gradual adjustment to daylight saving time will prevent your toddler from being overtired the first few nights, which could lead to a restless night and early morning waking (no one wants that!).

  3. Adjust less gradually if...

    1. least gradual adjustment = move bedtime 15 minutes earlier every day, over a 4-day period

    2. this generally works well if your child is not as affected by the exact time he or she goes to sleep


4. Early Morning Sunlight


If you have a child who has a hard time adjusting to time changes, early morning sunlight can help.


This is helpful no matter how you help your child adjust to Springing Forward.


Spend at least 10 minutes outside first thing in the morning.


Natural sunlight first thing in the morning will help reset you and your child's circadian rhythm.



Born Happy, Nashville, TN, Tennessee, Baby Sleep Coach, Baby Sleep Consultant, Toddler Sleep Coach, Toddler Sleep Consultant, Parent Coach, Sleep, Overnight Waking, Toddler Sleep, Preschooler Sleep, Baby Sleep, Daylight Saving Time

5. Tired Parents


As frustrating as those late bedtimes are first week or so, it's not your little one's fault that the time is changing. Its not yours either. It just is what it is.


It's okay to be frustrated about the challenges you may have for the next few weeks but remember that your kiddo didn't ask for this change. So be patient with him or her.


To set your child up for success, you want him/her to be tired enough to actually fall asleep at bedtime. Therefore, bedtime may be a little later than usual.


For example, if you were planning to make bedtime 15 min earlier, but your sweet little babe is wide eyed and bushy tailed, put him to bed at what would have been his normal time and try again tomorrow.




 

Katie Ramirez, RN, BSN, CLC

Born Happy, Owner and Coach


Born Happy, Nashville, TN, Tennessee, US, United States, Baby Sleep Coach, Toddler Sleep Coach, Toddler Sleep Consultant, Baby Sleep Consultant
Katie Ramirez RN, CLC

Katie Ramirez is a Registered Nurse, Certified Lactation Counselor, and Coach for parents of babies, toddlers, and preschoolers. She has spent more than a decade serving patients at major university hospitals such as Vanderbilt University and Penn State University Medical Centers. Katie now spends her time supporting and empowering parents of babies, toddlers, and preschoolers as owner and coach for Born Happy.

Katie is the proud mother of two beautiful children, Roberto (age 9), and Veronica (age 7). She has a passion for health, wellness, and happy children, and believes that, with the necessary knowledge and support, all parents can live happy.

 

Empowering and Supporting Parents of Babies and Toddlers


Born Happy, Nashville, TN, Tennessee, Baby Sleep Coach, Toddler Sleep Coach, Toddler Sleep Consultant, Baby Sleep Consultant, US, United States

I provide individualized

coaching and support

to parents of babies, toddlers, and preschoolers.

I specialize in baby and toddler/preschooler

sleeping, breastfeeding, eating,

behavior, and developing.

Contact me today for a free consultation!

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