Alanna McGinn: A Good Night's Sleep


Spring Daylight Saving Time & Your Baby's Sleep Schedule

Sleeping after Spring DST doesn't have to be a nightmare

How to handle your baby's sleep schedule and DST |

The evenings are getting lighter and that can only mean one thing: Spring Daylight Savings Time is here on Sunday, March 13th, 2016 at 2:00 am, when we turn our clocks forward one hour. I know; just when you have your baby on a great sleep schedule, right?  But during this time change moms and dads may actually get an extra hour of sleep and I’m going to tell you how.

There are a few steps you can take to better prepare your entire family for the time change. A goal for most parents it to achieve a desired wake time. You can do this by slowly introducing your baby to the new time by waking up slightly earlier than usual. If your usual wake time is 6:30 am move it to 6:00 am a few days before the actual change so that once the clocks spring forward you will already be adjusted to the new times. You can go as far as moving the entire day earlier by at least one hour, including meal times, naptime and bedtimes. It shouldn’t take more than a week for your child to adjust to the new time change.

If things are going well and you’re happy with your babies sleep schedule then my advice is to keep wakeup and bedtimes the same using the new adjusted time. Our children adjust eventually just as we do. You would wake your child at his usual time on the Sunday morning of the change and carry on the day as usual.

When going through a seasonal time change or jetlag try getting outside and exposing yourself and your child to the sunlight as much as possible. The natural light and dark of our environment is what helps synch our internal clock and circadian rhythms, and will help adjust your family to the new time. Though with any kind of sleep transition your child can begin to give you battles at bedtime and earlier wakings in the morning. Here are some tips to encourage morning sleep-ins and relaxed bedtimes:

  • Black-out blinds - Keeps those early sunrises banished from his room.
  • White noise machine – Goodbye early morning bird chatter!
  • Toddler alarm clocks – You can set it to your desired bedtimes and wake times, making it easier for him to understand and follow the schedule.
  • Quiet Time Box can be used for bedtime as well and not just naps – Have him choose a puzzle or book that he can relax with until he falls asleep.

It doesn’t have to be complicated with a list of rules to follow. This is just small blip on your sleep adventure and provided you remain consistent with your routine you will all adjust to the new time.

I provide free child and family sleep support on my Facebook page. I invite you to join our sleep community as I work towards Good Night Sleep Site's mission of a healthier rested family unit. For more sleep tips please visit Good Night Sleep Site.

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