You like that play on words? See what I did there?!?
Nothing stirs up anxiety in new parents, especially those who have painstakingly sleep trained their babies, more than impending time changes. But, fear not fellow parents – the Spring time change is by far and away the easier of the two time changes for babies to tolerate, and, it can sometimes have the added benefit of changing your up-before-the-son child to a up-just-after-the-sun-but-I’m-still-ready-to-play-RIGHTNOW kiddo.
Prepare the room – nothing gets kids up bright eyed and bushy tailed more than sunlight at 5:00 am. Prep for that ahead of time by making sure as much sunlight is blocked from your child’s room as possible. While early sunlight may not be an issue yet (especially in northern parts of the US) in about month’s time we will all find it streaming into our children’s room well before the 6:00 am hour. Sunlight is comprised of mainly blue colored light which tells the brain to cut off melatonin production and prepare to be awake for the day. Covering up that early morning sunlight can help ensure your child continues sleeping late(r) in the morning throughout the rest of the spring and summer months.
Remember that your child cannot tell time, nor do they care what time your watch reads. On the Sunday morning of the time change simply move your child’s entire daily schedule one hour forward. Do you usually start your day around 6:30 am? Simply wait for the clock to read 7:30 am before getting your son or daughter up. Whatever time you normally nap your little one, put them down about an hour later than their typical nap time. Remember, these times will “feel” to your child as the exact same times they are normally accustomed to sleeping. Bedtime should also be an hour later on the clock.
After Sunday you have a choice – move your child’s schedule later or keep your child’s wake and sleep times the same as prior to the time change. Parents of extremely early risers may find this time change to be music to their sleep-deprived ears, while Moms and Dads who need to get out the door at 7:00 am no matter what may loathe the idea of having to wake up their little guy every morning to start the day on time. To the first group I suggest simply staying on the later schedule. If you find your little one getting up earlier and earlier make sure you maintain those naps and bedtimes to those later hours – that should ensure that their morning wake time remains as late as possible. To the latter group, simply wake your child up at the time you need to begin your day and move their naps and bedtime earlier as well. They may be somewhat resistant at first but usually within 1 to 2 weeks’ time you’ll find your child has adjusted nicely to the time change.