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Daylight Savings Time starts at 2:00 AM on Sunday, March 12th, 2016. To me, this means Spring and warm weather are near! To those of you who have an early riser, this may mean the chance that your child will start to sleep later. For that reason, many parents think this is the good time change.

When we “spring forward” it can take a week or two for your child’s body to adjust to the time change. Remember that all children are different. Some will barely seem to notice the change but for others, taking an hour of sleep away can be hard.

There are different ways to make the transition:

Cold Turkey Approach:

Basically, on Sunday, you will use your regular schedule but do everything according to the new clock time. I really only recommend this approach if your child is older than two and seems to have an easier time with changes/transitions. Admittedly, this is usually the approach I take and my children adjust relatively quickly. Maybe it’s because they are well-rested or because I stay consistent. Whatever the reason, I’m not complaining!

Gradual Approach:

For children younger than two, or children who have a harder time with changes/transitions it’s better to make the switch gradually. Starting the Thursday before the change, move your child’s wake up time, bedtime, and nap times earlier by 15 minutes each day. That way the time change won’t feel so drastic on Saturday night.

Tips no Matter Which Approach You Use:

  • 2 words: Black-out shades!  This time of year mornings will be brighter and evenings lighter and we don’t want sunlight waking your child up in the morning or causing any bedtime battles.
  • Avoid bright lights in the evening, including any screens like the TV, computer, or iPad.
  • Getting fresh air and exposure to bright light first thing in the morning will help reset the internal body clock. Try to get outside as much as possible on Saturday and Sunday.
  • Try to do everything according to the new clock time starting Sunday. This means all meals and sleep times. Wake your child up at their regular time on Sunday morning (as long as it is after 6 am), even though it will feel an hour earlier to them.