It’s that time of year again–spring has sprung, and the clocks turned forward today. It’s amazing how losing just one hour can wreck havoc on your little one’s sleep schedule. Even adults may have trouble adjusting to the changes in lighting and what feels like an earlier bedtime. Don’t let daylight savings get in the way of a good sleep routine! Follow the tips below to ease the transition for your baby or toddler.
*Be sure that your little one is taking adequate naps in the next few days
*Set the alarm clock for your child’s pre-time change wake up time to keep their routine consistent. For example, if your child woke up at 7:00a before the change, wake them up at 8:00a for the next few days.
*Expose your child to natural light first thing in the morning. Once your child wakes up, take him or her outside; if it is too cold, open a window to let the light inside. Exposure to at least an hour of sunlight will send signals to your child’s pineal gland, which is the part of the brain that controls our sleep and wake cycles. The sunlight cues the pineal gland to the time change, and triggers it to make the necessary adjustments.
*For the next week or two, begin adjusting your child’s wake-up and bedtime by 15 or 20 minute increments, which will help him or her make the adjustment without abruptly altering their schedule.
*If your child’s room is still bright, consider purchasing blackout curtains.
*Most importantly, be flexible and watch for your child’s moods and natural cues. Time changes are challenging for all of us, but are especially difficult for babys and young children.
With these tips and a little bit of patience, your child will get back into their sleep schedule in no time!