The “spring forward” time change is a sign of greener times but it also can wreak havoc on sleep schedules (no matter how loose they are.) So I asked Brooke from Sleepy on Hudson if I could post her cheat sheet on some ways to deal with it.
Sleep and Time Change Options:
1. Do Nothing
(This is my favorite because I always mean to do something but very often end up doing nothing)
That’s right. Just put them to bed at the old time and let them wake up to the new time. Run your day on the new time, moving meals, snacks, and naps to the new time. Bedtime might be a little rocky for a few days, but maybe this is your chance to get that super early sleeper to bed a little bit later. This also might be time to experience a day without that impossible 3rd nap. This approach takes a day or two to even out and is better for more flexible sleepers.
2. Do Something in Advance
(This for those of you who are ‘on it’)
Start moving towards the new time 15 minutes each day. The key here is to move everything 15 minutes – meals, snacks, bottles, nursing, naps, and of course bedtime. You will be living your new schedule and feeling very comfortable come Monday morning when the rest of the world is a little off their game.
3. Do Something After the Fact
(this is for those of you who couldn’t get on it, have a sensitive sleeper, and need to do small steps to get adjusted)
The time will change and you are going to react to this change slowly but surely. You will back into the new time each day by 15 minutes, moving everything closer to the new time, hoping to get there in 3-5 days. Here is an example: It is 7pm new time (but feels like 6pm old time). Your baby isn’t tired until 8pm new time. If you want that 7pm bedtime, then put him to bed at 7:45 new time, then 7:30, then 7:15, then 7.
Hope this all makes sense. For some reason, time change instructions make my head hurt and feel like I am doing logic problems with little success.
Good luck and have fun!