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3 Ways to Handle Toddler Bedtimes This Daylight Saving Time

Posted by Urban Infant Team on
3 Ways to Handle Toddler Bedtimes This Daylight Saving Time

With daylight savings time just around the corner, many parents in the United States are wondering how their little ones will adjust to losing an hour of sleep. Even veteran parents seem to /dread the twice-yearly clock change, since all children seem to respond differently to their sleep schedules being shaken up. 

While very young babies and older children typically weather this change without too much trouble, many toddlers depend on very structured sleep schedules and strict bedtime routines. Here are three different ways parents might adjust their toddler’s bedtime to help ease the transition to the new time. 

Method 1: The Slow Fade
If your toddler has a very structured sleep schedule, you might want to consider a slow fade to the new time. Starting the week before the time change, try adjusting your child’s sleep and wake times by 10 minutes each day. This way, they should be ready to wake up at their usual time on the morning of the time change without having lost a full hour of sleep.  

For example, if your toddler typically goes to bed at 7pm and wakes up at 6am, put them down at 6:50pm and wake them up at 5:50am the next morning starting a week before daylight savings time. The next night, put them down at 6:40pm and wake them up at 5:40am. 

If you continue these adjustments each day, you’ll put them down at 6pm the evening before daylight savings time begins and wake them up at 6am the next morning. With the time change factored in, they will still have gotten their usual 11 hours of sleep and should be ready to get back to their regular schedule going forward. 

Method 2: The Weekend Switch 
If your toddler has a sleep schedule that’s not quite so strict, you could adjust their sleep and wake times by about a half hour each day over the weekend of the time change. With just a little planning, your toddler should only have their sleep slightly disrupted for a couple of days before they’re back on track. 

For example, if your little one heads to bed around 8pm most nights and gets up around 7am, try to get them in bed closer to 7:30 on Friday night and wake them up around 6:30 on Saturday morning. On Saturday night, try for a 7pm bedtime with a 7am wake up on Sunday morning. With the time change, that’s a full 11 hours and a fresh start on the new schedule. 

Method 3: The One-Night Flip 
If your family has a more relaxed approach to your sleep schedules, you can always take the simplest approach and do nothing! Some toddlers can handle the time change without any special preparation, especially if your family has a more flexible schedule. Just remember to keep an eye out the next day to see if an extra nap or an early bedtime are needed to help bridge the gap.  

However you choose to approach bedtime with your toddler this daylight savings time, we wish you good luck and good sleep!

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