Daylight Savings Spring Forward 2022
More sunlight. Longer days. More outside fun, especially for those of us who live in the North. It’s that time of year again…the start of spring and Daylight Savings Time Spring Forward.
Daylight Savings starts in the US and Canada on Sunday, March 13, 2022, at 2:00 am. What this means is when we set the clocks forward 1 hour, we’ll be putting our children to bed 1 hour earlier than they are used to and that request isn’t without its challenges. With these Spring Forward Daylight Savings Time tips, you’ll know just how to navigate the change.
The good news is the Springtime change is the easier of the two to navigate and has a lot less impact on sleep. For those with early birds, this is a welcomed change for an extra hour of sleep! (at least temporarily)
Depending on your children’s sleep habits, there are a few options on how you can handle the spring forward daylight savings time change.
First, let’s identify your child’s sleep profile
Sleep Profile Types
- Early birds – your child is an early bird if they wake at 6:00 am or earlier.
- Night owls – your child is a night owl if they love to sleep in, waking at 7:00 am or later.
- Sensitive sleepers – your child is a sensitive sleeper if they don’t adjust to schedule changes well. Think back to the fall time change or if your child has an off nap day. Do the wheels come off the bus? You’ve got a sensitive sleeper!
- Super sleepers – your child is a super sleeper if they are on a good schedule now and adjust well to schedule changes
Now let’s look at what to do to help with the time change based on your child’s sleep profile
What To Expect
Given that we are pushing the clock forward, the first few days of the transition may be a little rough at bedtime. If your child normally goes to bed at 7:00 pm, after the time change, according to their body, they are going to sleep at 6:00 pm. This may result in your little one not being tired at bedtime, which can cause bedtime battles and antics.
This transition usually takes less than a week so stay patient and use your preferred sleep training method if necessary.
What To Do
If your child is an early bird, stay on the same schedule and enjoy the later wake time, at least for a few days.
Some children are programmed to naturally wake early and in this case, your little one’s body will naturally adjust back to their earlier wake time. Sorry!
In some cases, if your child has been waking unnaturally early, this may help them to transition to a later wake time moving forward.
Night Owls & Sensitive Sleepers
What To Expect
For night owls and sensitive sleepers, the time change will result in a later wake time. If your child is a sensitive sleeper and doesn’t easily adjust to sleep schedule changes, the time change may push their wake time too late, resulting in missing the optimal sleep windows.
What To Do
In these two situations, the best way to prepare for the time change is to adjust your child’s wake up time and schedule gradually, by 15 minutes each day leading up to the time change. This chart will help you with the adjustment:
Monday, March 7th and Tuesday, March 8th
Wake your child 15 minutes earlier than their usual time. For example, if your child wakes at 7:00 am normally, wake them at 6:45 am. This will only decrease their night sleep by 15 minutes.
Shift naps and feedings earlier by 15 minutes – if your baby goes down for nap at 12:00 pm, put them down for their nap at 11:45 am on the first day.
Put your child down for bed 15 minutes earlier than usual. A 7:00 pm bedtime, will be 6:45 pm bedtime on the first night. Stay with the same timing on Tuesday as well.
Wednesday, March 9th and Thursday, March 10th
Follow the guidelines above, shifting the entire schedule earlier by 15 minutes and staying with the new schedule for both Wednesday and Thursday
Friday, March 11th and Saturday, March 12th
Follow the guidelines above, shifting the entire schedule earlier by 15 minutes and staying with the new schedule for both Friday and Saturday
Sunday, March 13th
Resume your child’s usual schedule, with the same daily wake, nap, feedings and bedtimes as before the time change
If your child is on a good sleep schedule and isn’t too sensitive to sleep changes, you can opt to not make any advanced changes.
If your child’s normal nighttime sleep schedule is 7:00 pm – 7:00 am, wake them at 7:00 am the new time.
I know, I know – you REALLY wanted that extra hour of sleep! This will help your little one to get back on track quickly and be tired enough to settle into nap time and bedtime on the new schedule.
Naturally, move your routine (sleep/feeding) to your existing scheduled times. This is a relatively easy transition and the effects of the time change will only be evident for a week at most.
SPRING FORWARD DAYLIGHT SAVINGS TIME ADJUSTMENT TIPS:
- Have patience – the time change can have us all off for a few days because our natural rhythms are being altered
- Use the sun to your benefit – exposure to 30 minutes of sun during the early morning will help to reset internal clocks to the time change.
- Dim the lights – keep the lights dim in the hour prior to bedtime This will help your child to regulate their sleepy hormones and adjust to being sleepier at the new bedtime.
- Watch light exposure – avoid playing outside and bright screens (TV, tablet, phone) or bright indoor light during the hour leading to bed.
- Maintain your routines – keep sleep, feeding and other routines consistent, maintaining the same timing, unless noted above
- Create the ideal sleep environment – cool, dark with white noise. With the extended daylight hours, it can be harder to convince little ones that its bedtime, especially when the sun is still shining bright at 7pm. More than any other time of year, it is so important to create a cave-like sleep environment for your little ones for both day and nighttime sleep. My favorite solution is the Blackout EZ window covers.
- Portable Air Conditioner – as temperatures start to heat up, if you need to purchase an air conditioning unit, I recommend portable ones, like this one. The floor units allow you to keep the room dark and still cool the space. Just make sure that it has a sleep feature, where you can turn all lights off during sleep periods.
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