With a recent online survey in America indicating that 77% of parents are concerned with the effect of daylight saving will have on their child’s sleeping pattern and a whopping 59% of parents dreading the potential disruption to their baby’s schedule more than tax return season, I thought you might like some helpful tips to alleviate your concerns, with top tips for Spring Forward 2019.
The clocks go forward overnight in for Daylight Savings – GMT on Sat/Sun 31st March
• Do your best to prepare your child for this transition by ensuring that they are well rested in the run up to DST. Pay specific attention to day time sleep and fill this need as much as possible
• Make sure that you have blackout blinds and a sleep friendly environment to help with going to sleep and to avoid unnecessary early rising although this is often a chance for routine early risers to improve their wake time
Option 1: Gradual Adjustment Approach
Consider moving your child’s schedule earlier by 15 minutes every day from this Wednesday 27th March. Adjust meals and naps times and of course their morning wake-time accordingly so that by Sunday you will already be on the new time on the clock!
For example on Wednesday morning wake 15 minute earlier than normal or just don’t start the day before 6am and awake no later than 715am |Provide Naps | Meals and Feeds 15 minutes earlier all day along with a bedtime that is 15 minutes earlier than the day before.
Repeat Thursday, Friday and Saturday | each day waking earlier each day by 15m or not starting day before 6am so that on Saturday Night your original bedtime has been adjusted 1 hour earlier than last week.
Based on 7pm Bedtime
Wednesday bedtime: 645pm
Sat 6pm = 7pm on Sunday “new time”.
From Sunday morning onwards treat any waking before 6am “new time” as night time and wake no later than 730am “new time.”
Option 2: Splitting the Difference
If you prefer: do nothing until the day of the change, make sure you either treat any wake before 6.30am “new time” (5.30am yesterday) as night time or wake your child by 0730am “new time”(6.30am yesterday) that morning and then follow your daily routine, addressing meals, naps and bedtime as you always do but offering a level of flexibility, possibly splitting the difference between the old time and the new time. This means that your child is potentially going to bed 30 minutes earlier than normal, they may struggle as their inner-clock may resist this, but within 3-7 days their system will adjust and your regular timetable will run just fine
From Monday onwards treat any wake before 6 am “new time” as night time and wake no later than 730am “new time” thereafter
1. Bear in mind that we do not really want the time change to achieve anything, except that by the end of the week we are on the same time schedule that we have always been on prior to the spring forward.
2. Attempting to the get time change to adjust bedtime later or create a later wake time, rarely has a positive result, often resulting in night time activity and decreased nap durations by day.
3. Remember to wake by 730am “new time” each day so that the internal body clock is not interrupted disrupting your nap and bedtime rhythm.
4. Treat any disruptions with my stay and support approach if appropriate and be predictable so that you don’t create any long term sleep difficulties during this transition
5. If necessary add an extra 10-15 minutes to your current bedtime routine to help with this transition
Lucy Wolfe, CGSC, MAPSC, is a paediatric sleep consultant, Author of the bestselling book The Baby Sleep Solution and mum of four children. She runs a private sleep consulting practice with her 98% effective formula for sleep; she provides knowledge, expertise and valuable support to families across the country. See www.sleepmatters.ie <https://www.sleepmatters.ie>, t: 087 2683584 or e: email@example.com