5 Strategies to Tackle Daylight Savings

5 Strategies to Tackle Daylight Savings

Hello everyone! This week's blog post is from a guest blogger Ashley from Heaven Sent Sleep. We'll be cohosting a facebook live in our facebook group, Kyte KLUB next week and will be answering any questions you guys have about your little one's sleep (so make sure to drop a few in the comments or join our facebook group and post some there - and make sure to catch the live!)


Ashley this week is touching on sleep tips for Daylight Savings Time, which has personally been plaguing my children's nap schedules and bedtime routines! Hope you guys love this information and hope to see you all in our Facebook Live!


Miscellaneous tips and information to think about beforehand:

  •  What kind of child do you have? Super sensitive or super flexible? If you're child is well rested and generally has great sleep habits, then tip #1 will probably be for you. If you have a really sensitive sleeper, then tip #2 or #4 might work best.


  •  Is your child's room pitch black? Make sure you're checking the light in their room around 8am (the new 7am) to guarantee they think it's still night time if they wake up early!


  •  It should not take days on end to adjust your child to the new time. Kids are very flexible and should only take 1-2 days to adjust to the new time. Lots of natural light in the morning will reset their circadian rhythms. 


  •  You may find that the days leading up to the time change, their body will adjust naturally and they will start sleeping in a bit as the days become shorter and nights become longer. In that case, you won't have to do anything!


  • If you already have a child that isn't sleeping well.... I would consider working on that prior to the time change; otherwise, these tips will not be much help and the time change will wreak more havoc on their sleep as opposed to their well-rested counter parts.

1. This one will make you laugh because it's the most simple one (and the strategy we use in our family).... DO NOTHING!

That's right. Nothing. That means you will set your clocks to the new time before you go to bed (don't forget your toddler's clock if you use one) and no one leaves their room before the "new" time. That may mean your child is awake in their room for a little bit in the morning so this strategy will work best for those kids who are sleep trained / have healthy sleep habits and are not currently testing you with early mornings. My son knows he doesn't leave his room before his clock turns green (or before we come get him up in the morning) and that's how it's been since we first sleep trained him. For the rest of the day, nap time and bedtime are at the "new" time and you're just going about the day like it never happened! Simple, right? That's why it's my favorite. But this strategy may not work for a younger infant or one that's really sensitive to changes.


2. Start the shift SLOWLY. The week before daylight savings, you'll shift your child's schedule LATER by 15 minutes every 2 days. That means you'll leave them in their crib 15 minutes longer every other morning, nap time will be 15 minutes later every other day and bedtime will be 15 minutes later every other night. For example, (using a 7-7 schedule), it may look something like:

Saturday: 7am wake up, 1pm nap, 7:30pm bedtime

Sunday: SAME

Monday: 7:15am out of bed, 1:15pm nap, 7:45pm bedtime

Tuesday: SAME

Wednesday: 7:30am out of bed, 1:30pm nap, 8pm bedtime

Thursday: SAME

Friday 7:45am out of bed, 1:45pm nap, 8:15pm bedtime

Saturday: SAME

DAYLIGHT SAVINGS Sunday: 8:00am out of bed, 2pm nap, 8:30pm bedtime --- EXCEPT now the clock as fallen back an hour and you're at the new 7am, 1pm, and 7:30pm where you started!

This strategy may not work well for kids who are in school or go to daycare.  Therefore, the next strategy may be more beneficial....

*note* if your child starts waking earlier or you feel like things are falling off track considerably, then PAUSE where you're at and give it a few days. You may have to shift more slowly and / or follow tip #4!


3. Start the shift the day before with a 30 minute shift. Using the same example from above, it might look something like:

Saturday: 7:30am out of bed, 1:30pm nap, 8pm bedtime

DAYLIGHT SAVINGS Sunday: 8:00am out of bed, 2pm nap, 8:30pm bedtime --- EXCEPT now the clock as fallen back an hour and you're at the new 7am, 1pm, and 7:30pm where you started!


4. Instead of managing things on the front end like the previous tips, you can manage them AFTER the fact.That means, you'll do the same thing as tip #2, except you'll start your day at the old 7am (new 6am) and work your way back to 7am with 15 minute shifts every other day (or 30 minute shifts quickly). Lots of natural sunlight and relaxing / unwinding without screen time in the evenings.


5. Another quick acting option is to leave your clocks set for the old time (as in, don't change them before you go to bed) and the next morning, you'll act like the change didn't happen. As you go about your morning, maybe before the first nap, you'll adjust the clock to the new time. Follow your child's cues and then use tip #4 to adjust them to the new time.


I hope you find these tips helpful! If you're struggling with your child's sleep and the time change is making you anxious, then I might have some package options that will fit your needs to get you on track before the change happens! Email me at ashley@heavensentsleep.com, schedule a free chat here or fill out my online screening and I'll get back to you!

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