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5 Tips for a Successful Spring Forward

As a seemingly never-ending winter comes to a close, it’s exciting to know warm weather and longer days are on the way.  Sunday, March 10th, we will“spring forward” our clocks in light of daylight savings time. This will, however, come at a cost of an hour of sleep, and more importantly, a disruption in routine. For some, it may result in some grogginess in the morning, but as the parent of a young child, it could mean much more. Your child’s bedtime will now be jeopardized as they will be put to bed an hour earlier than usual, a time where their bodies are normally wide awake.  With this being said, as the clocks change, so must our habits. Adjusting your child’s routine may sound like a tall task, but here are some tips for a smooth transition into spring.

  • Plan ahead-Move your child’s bedtime up 15-20 minutes earlier each day for about three days leading up to daylight savings– more if you have the time – and then back to their old schedule on the new time. This will allow your child to slowly adjust to falling asleep and waking up earlier.

 

  • Take advantage of your child’s natural clock- Our bodies’ have an internal clock that is regulated by a hormone called melatonin, that helps us feel awake during the day and ready for sleep at night. Light receptors in the eyes help regulate our release of melatonin. When it’s dark, melatonin increases to help aid in sleep, and when it’s light out the opposite happens. You can influence the melatonin in your child’s body naturally by exposing them to light first thing in the morning and turning off all lights, including electronic devices, at least 30 minutes before bedtime.

 

  • Adjust time for their tummies- It’s easy to forget that sleep isn’t the only part of your child’s routine, their stomachs are used to a schedule too. If your child has a relatively fixed meal schedule follow the same pattern that you did with bedtime, bumping it up 15-20 minutes the few days leading up to daylight savings. This will help aid in fully adjusting their routine and avoid any extra fuss.

 

  • Get outside- If weather permits, go for a short walk in the morning or before the sun sets in the evening. Fresh air and natural sunlight will also help adjust your child’s natural clock.

 

  • Fight the weekend sleep routine– Although it may be tempting to sleep in on the weekend, try to continue this routine Saturday and Sunday to help ensure an easy wake-up on Monday morning.

Above all, make sure you’re patient with your little one as they make this transition as it will be a better experience for both of you.  It will be well worth it when you both wake up well rested on Monday morning!

 

Sources:

7 Steps to Prepare Your Sleeping Baby for Daylight Savings Time | Fit Pregnancy and Baby| http://bit.ly/2tP5Jhl

Helping Your Child Adjust to Daylight Savings Time | Steve Silvestro, MD| http://bit.ly/2XCSvC2

Helping Your Child Adjust to Daylight Savings Time | Parents| http://bit.ly/2J7rl3l

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