Spring time change - Sleep Tips for Babies and Children

Written by Sleepdreams. Posted in Blog

help babies and toddlers adjust to the time change

The beginning of Daylight Savings time is coming up this weekend. How can you help your little one adjust to the time change?

Our circadian rhythm is governed by hormones. We can help our bodies change out of daylight savings time by changing the pattern of eating, getting to bed, waking, and the time we exercise.

It’s that time of year again where we’re about to lose an hour of sleep. Here are a few tips to make it easier on you and the kids:

1. Ensure you have a consistent sleep routine. That means getting to sleep and getting up at the same time each day.

2. Make sure you keep screens out of the bedroom. They serve to disrupt sleep rhythm. Keep screen time away from bedtime -  no tv or ipad time at least 2 hours prior to heading to bed.

3. Make sure the bedroom is dark. Sunlight helps tell our brain it is ‘awake’ time while darkness cues our brain it’s time to sleep. Given most children’s bedtimes are near 7pm, the sun will only just be setting at that time so their rooms will be bright. Use blackout blinds to help create a dark environment.

4. Gradually transition to the new time change. The easiest way to accomplish this is to move bedtime earlier by 10-15 minutes each night. If bedtime is 7:30, put children to bed by 7:15, then 7:00, then 6:45, and finally 6:30. When the time change occurs on March 12th , 6:30pm becomes 7:30pm and you’re back to your typical bedtime. Don’t forget that means you’re also waking them 15 minutes earlier each day too.

5. Exercise is a key component to good healthy sleep. Ensure you and your child are getting enough physical excercise throughout the day. See the Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology's 24 Hour Movement Guidelines for Children and Youth.

6. If you’re curious about how much sleep your child needs, check out the new guidelines from The American Academy of Sleep Medicine


You can read CTV's 2014 

Spring forward: Daylight Saving Time starts this weekend with contributions from Sleepdreams' Jennifer Garden.