On March 13, 2022, we move our clocks forward one hour, which means losing one hour of sleep. This adjustment can be difficult for kids’ sleep schedules. We are sharing some tips to help ease the transition.
Go slowly. Consider adjusting your child’s schedule gradually, starting a few days before the day of the change. Move your child’s bedtime 15 to 30 minutes earlier each night until you reach the desired new bedtime. You can also start to wake your child 15 to 30 minutes earlier each day. And for young kids, if possible, you can even start to shift the entire daytime routine, including naps and meals.
Resist the urge to sleep in. If you choose not to make a gradual change, you can wake your child up one hour earlier the day before (Saturday, March 12), or wake them up at the new time on the day of the change (Sunday, March 13). Just know that, like adults, your child may take about a week to feel fully adjusted to the new time. It is tempting to let them sleep in, but this may make it harder for them to wake up the following Monday. Getting your child out of bed at the new time will help ensure that they are tired enough to sleep at the normal time that night.
Create a sleep-friendly environment. It’s going to be lighter at bedtime, and sometimes children may struggle to go to bed because the sun is still up. Consider darkening the room around bedtime using blackout blinds or sheets. With the earlier light in the mornings, sometimes sounds around the neighbourhood start a little earlier. Consider using a white-noise machine to help block out that disruptive noise.
Invest in an Ok-to-Wake! clock or another device that can help keep sleep on track. This is a great option for eager toddlers who are used to getting up and running into your room in the morning. Having a child-friendly alarm clock that turns green to indicate when it’s time to get up can make a big difference to a child trying to adjust.
On the bright side…spring is just around the corner and warmer days are ahead!