The spring time change is usually good news for parents, especially if your child is waking up very early. The rest of the world often whines about losing an hour of sleep in the spring. The fact is that most people will adjust to the new time within a week whether you take action or not. However, some children and adults are more sensitive to these changes. Here are some tips to help you through the shift:
- You can start gradually shifting your child’s naps, feeding, bedtimes and wake times earlier by 15 minutes a day before the time change.
- You may also want to start shifting your child’s light exposure so the lights get dim a little earlier before bedtime and she gets exposure to bright light in the morning between 6 and 7am.
- Or you can do nothing
- Set all your clocks ahead one hour before going to bed
- Go to bed early! You child will likely wake up later according to the clock but you may still lose an hour of sleep if you go to bed at your usual time.
- Expose your child to bright lights or outdoor lights between 6am and 7:30am (new time).
- Start your day by 8am at the latest.
- Gradually shift naps, feeding, bedtime and wake times earlier if needed
Relax, enjoy and go with the flow, with light exposure alone most children should adjust naturally to the new time within a week.