Daylight Savings: What Spring Forward means for your Baby and Toddler's Schedule and Early Rising

I LOVE the Spring forward time change.  Summer nights, sunny mornings, and because even though my children are technically waking up at the same time after, it FEELS like I'm kicking a$$ at this Mom thing when they sleep in "an hour later"......temporarily.  Don't all good things come to an end? Guess what- this one doesn't :)  I'm sharing my super easy & super secret Spring Forward Daylight savings sleep tips in this post, all for the price of just having you as a reader (Yes, you can buy me a drink later!)

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Ok let's start with: The "After" Schedule

I have a good friend nearby who always "conveniently" travels for work whenever there is a minor sleep issue or time change happening in her house, and we joke that it isn't accidental that she leaves her husband to deal with it.  Last year, same time change, she left for a 3 day work trip the night before the switch.  Hubby was happy his little angel slept in an extra hour that sunny Sunday morning, but horrified when his "easy-to-bed" daughter screamed for a full hour after lights out night after night.  Was he doing something differently than Mom?  Was she just being difficult?  Or maybe she was hungry?  A suddenly, when his wife returned home three nights later, it was as if nothing was different (which made him crazy, he swore it was two nights of misery!)

Here's what happened.

Every child has a night here or there where they test the waters with your authority, super common.  More than two nights in a row has me a lot more suspicious!  Although the sweet toddler below was used to getting up at 7am (which was now 8am), Daddy tried to put her down for bed at her NORMAL bedtime of 8pm (which, YUP, was actually 7pm prior to the change, a whole hour earlier than normal).  Bingo!

 Confused?  Me too.  

Here is a sample before & after one-nap (15mos+) schedule:

CURRENT:

Wake at 7am

Nap 1pm

Bedtime at 8pm

*They will wake up an hour later on Sunday (which really isn’t an hour later but looks like it, make sense?*

AFTER DAYLIGHT SAVINGS:

Wake at 8am

Nap at 2pm

Bedtime at 9pm

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NOW you have to ask yourself:  SLEEP IN......OR GO TO BED EARLY? (Buzzkill: You can't have both when you have kids.)  But you now have the option to choose (Pop, Fizz, Clink!).

If you chose Sleep In: You'll have to now stick to the "After" schedule religiously.  

If you chose Go to Bed Early:  You'll have to slowly work back to your "Current" or "Before" schedule by putting your child down for nap 30 minutes later, and down for bedtime 30 minutes later for at least 5-7 days.  If you're using the "after" schedule to achieve this, then naptime would be 1:30pm, and 8:30pm bedtime.  After a full week, move nap back to your "before time" and bedtime back to your "before bedtime" and your child should begin waking at the normal time again.

If you want your child to sleep past 5am, you NEED a blackout shade.  The sun rises on East-facing windows, signally your child's internal clock that it's time to get up!  Ain't nobody got time for waking up that early.  Here is our favorite, fool-proof window cover that works better that tin foil, and comes on & off a whole heck of a lot easier (for under $50!  Totally worth the extra zzz's.) 

In the end, always be sure to use my “Sleep and the City” rules for successful sleep shaping:

  • The same sleeping environment is encouraged ( meaning one place over and over, or to start, at least one nap in the desired sleep place per day).  We LOVE the Dock-a-Tot Grand for my toddlers to achieve this no matter where we are! USE CODE 10EXIT for $10 off now! ;)
  • Swaddle (0-6 months) for nighttime and nap times as needed; we love how easy this is with the Ollie Swaddle and this link will get you 10% off ;)
  • Comfy outfits for nap time (who wants to sleep in tight pants or a dress?!)  We love pajamas from Finn & Emma, which are 100% organic and wonderful for sensitive skin.
  • White noise is continuously running; a one with low rumbling is best like our fave from Hatch Baby
  • Room is completely dark for naps & nighttime (nightlight over 2+ years ok)
  • Understand the Wake windows by age (For help on creating a schedule, click here).
  • Pause before rushing in to see if child can resettle on their own first if nap is less than 45 minutes
  • Feed upon WAKING from sleep, not before (bedtime is the exception)

For more professional Baby & Toddler Sleep Ideas and Help, visit sleepandthecity.com/instanthelp

 As always, contact me if you need any help and I'll be glad to take a look at your situation and recommend some great fixes that fit your lifestyle and child's temperament.  Have a great day everyone!

 Sleep is possible, let's do this!