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Spring forward: How to adjust your baby's sleep schedule

Sleep consultant Alanna McGinn reveals the easy ways you can adjust your baby's sleep schedule so spring forward is less disruptive for your family.

Spring forward: How to adjust your baby's sleep schedule

Photo: iStockphoto

On March 10th at 2 a.m., we move our clocks forward one hour. Mornings begin to get brighter and evenings lighter (yay!), and parents of early risers may soon be able to get an extra hour of sleep in the morning. Cue the harps and rejoice.

So, what do we need to do to prepare our child’s sleep schedule for daylight saving time? Luckily, it isn't as disruptive as when we turn the clocks back in the fall, so most kids adjust easily. Begin by waking little ones at the usual time on Sunday morning and following your regular daily routine. Continue with the normal nap and bedtimes; kids should be on track within a week.

If you’re concerned about your child transitioning to the new time because he's a sensitive sleeper, you can introduce the change gradually. If his typical wake time is 6:30 a.m., move it to 6:00 a.m. a few days before the actual change. This way, once the clocks spring forward, he’ll already be prepped for the new time.

You can move your baby's entire schedule an hour ahead, including meal and nap times, but for most kids, this isn't necessary. The key change whenever you're going through any kind of sleep transition is bedtime. It may have to be slightly earlier than usual to compensate for any lost sleep while your child adjusts.

As the month goes on, the sun will shine earlier in the morning, and bedtime will soon be brighter. It’s important to ensure your child’s bedroom is set up to promote sleep, even in the daylight. Here are some sleep tools you can try:

Black-out blinds

They don't have to be all black, because these light-fighting blinds and curtains come in all colors and sizes now.

black out blinds for baby's room

Keep those early sunrises banished from his room and make bedtime nice and dark, even if it's still light out.

Toddler alarm clocks

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Set one of the best toddler alarm clocks to your desired sleep and wake times. making it easier for him to understand and follow the schedule. Light and gentle sound cues help wake toddlers and little ones at the right time, signaling when to stay in bed. Use these during naps, too.

Sound machines

Mask the bird chatter first thing in the morning and outside sounds at night and opt for one of the best white noise machines for baby.

If you consistently practice sleep hygiene within your family, transitions like time changes shouldn’t take long to master. But if sleep issues persist after a few weeks, you may want to examine your child’s overall sleep routine and habits to see if any changes need to be made.

jack and rose white noise machine, best white noise machines for babies Merchant

And don't forget to check your smoke detectors! Spring forward is a great time to check/replace the batteries.

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This article was originally published on Mar 08, 2022

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