The start of Daylight Savings is coming up this weekend.
On Sunday morning, 4th October, our clocks go forward an hour.
Thankfully, the beginning of daylight savings is the easier transition when it comes to sleep. Regardless, the start, and end, of Daylight Savings tends to affect not only children’s sleep patterns but adults too, no matter how we try to handle it.
It can take all of us a week or so to adjust to the change and it often increases our sleep debt – especially in children.
Children tend to be much more structured with going to bed at the same time every night and waking up at the same time every morning. That is usually why people notice it the most in young children.
So what is the best way to handle it?
On the night we are due to put our clocks forward, leave the clocks alone.
On Sunday morning, get up at your usual time and start the day.
After a cup of coffee, and a bit of breakfast, then you can go around changing the clocks. It will feel much better this way, trust me!
SPLIT THE DIFFERENCE
On Sunday, if your little one usually takes a nap around midday, move nap time to 12:30pm. It will feel like 11:30am which isn’t too much of a difference so it won’t derail the sleep schedule.
Let’s say your child usually goes to bed at 7pm.
I recommend putting that child to bed at 7:30pm for the first 2-3 nights after the clock change. This will FEEL like 6:30pm to your child on the first night or so. Again, not too much of a change to warrant a reaction.
To make things as easy as possible, keep the morning up time the same.
This means, keeping the expectation of when up time is the same.
If you have a toddler that is using a digital clock and ‘Super 7’ is the time they can get out of bed (or leave their room), don’t change this expectation. With the clocks going forward, you will hopefully get a few sleep ins! (when the clocks go back, that’s a different story).
Eventually your toddler will adjust to the time change, and she will wake up closer to her usual wake up time.
On the 4th night, get in line with the new time.
Adjust naps and bedtime to the usual time on day 4.
If you have a young baby
If your baby’s nap schedule is based on awake times, simply stick to the relevant awake times throughout the day. Even if your bub sleeps in the first few mornings, let her sleep. It will all even out over time. As the awake times with young babies are a constant moving target as your baby grows, those timings are the only times you need to be concerned with.