Day Light Savings – How to Adjust

Day Light Savings- Clocks Going Back 1 Hour

Clocks are due to go back one hour marking the end of summer… but what implications will this have on your child’s sleep?

Depending on the age of your child and how well they sleep this can be quite a stressful time of year for parents but with a little planning and preparation we can make for a smooth day light saving transition. Your child’s biological rhythms are set by food, light and social interactions and we can use these three components to adjust your child to day light savings.

So first let’s start with some simple tips to ensure your child (and you) are getting enough Z’s when adjusting to day light savings.

  • Light is your friend! Expose your child to sunlight first thing in the morning and late in the afternoon.
  • Adjust by increments.
  • With anything, change takes time- patience and consistency is key.
  • For early rising children the time change will be a blessing in disguise and you may find it easier to work on pushing the wakeup time later.
  • If you have the opposite problem, and your child’s bedtime was too late, an extra early bedtime will help them to go to sleep and sleep more soundly
  • Our aim here is to move the child’s sleep, food and social interactions forward in small increments over a period of a week.

There are two options:

(1) starting prior to day light savings

(2) starting at the time of day light savings.

I have based these options on a 7am to 7pm schedule. However, if your child’s schedule is different, then just go of time increase/ decreases.

Option one: Starting the week before day light savings

*We are increasing feeding and sleeping by 15 minutes every two days.

  • Day one and two: Have child get up 15 minutes later than usual (so 7:15am if they usually wake at 7am) and feed 15 minutes later than usual. Bedtime will also be 15 minutes later than usual.
  • Day three and four: shift timings another 15 minutes later (so 7:30am if they usually wake at 7am) and bedtime at 7:30pm.
  • Day five and six: shift timings again another 15 minutes (so 7:45am wake up if they usually wake at 7am) and bedtime 7:45pm.
  • Day seven (daylight savings): This would coincide with day light savings ending and your child would have adjusted by 15-minute increments over the course of the week.

Everything now would shift 1 hour later.

Option two: starting the time of day light savings

*This is like option one, but instead we are decreasing by 15 minutes every two days.

  • Daylight savings and day two: Have child get up 15 minutes earlier than usual (so 7:45am if they usually wake at 7am) and feed 15 minutes earlier than usual. Bedtime will also be 15 minutes earlier than usual (so 7:45pm if usually 7pm).
  • Day three and four: shift timings another 15 minutes earlier (so 7:30am if they usually wake at 7am) and bedtime at 7:30pm.
  • Day five and six: shift timings again another 15 minutes (so 7:15am wake up if they usually wake at 7am) and bedtime 7:15pm.
  • Day seven: shift timings another 15 minutes earlier (so awake at 7am and asleep by 7pm).

If you need help with your child’s sleep or have any questions – please contact me