It is time to “spring forward” the clocks. This can be a dreaded time for parents of young children because they are forced to make an adjustment that does not come easy. Children are typically more structured in their bed times and wake up around the same time each morning. As a result, people typically see a greater effect on children when the time changes in the spring.
However, there are things you can do to help make the time transition easier. First, leave your clock alone Saturday night! Wake up Sunday morning, have breakfast, and then go around to change the clocks. Psychologically, it will feel much better for everyone if you wait until Sunday morning to make the adjustment.
Age specific advice (7:00 pm is used as an example bedtime):
Children (non-nappers)- Split the difference between the old time and the new. How does that work? A child who usually goes to bed at 7:00 pm should be put to bed at 7:30 pm on Sunday night, the first night of the time change. Do this for 3 nights, putting him or her to bed 30 minutes later than normal. Then, on the 4th night, put him or her to bed at the normal time, 7:00 pm.
Toddlers- On Sunday, the first day of the time change, put your son or daughter down for his or her first nap 30 minutes later than normal. For example, if he or she naps at 10:00 am, lay him or her down at 10:30 am. Simply, do the same if he or she takes an afternoon nap. At bedtime, put him or her down 30 minutes later than usual. So, 7:30 pm for three nights after the time change. Then, on the 4th night, put him or her to bed at 7:00 pm. On day five, move nap times back to their normal time. Again, if your child typically naps at 10:00 am, put him or her down at 10:00 am just as you did prior to Daylight Saving. If applicable, do the same for the second nap.
Infants (Only applicable for babies with predictable bedtimes)- Move bedtime 15 minutes earlier (back) each night until you’ve made the hour adjustment. Sunday, night one, put your son or daughter down at 7:45pm (This is 15-minutes earlier than usual.) The second night 7:30 pm, and so on. In four nights, you will arrive back to a 7:00 pm bedtime. Similarly, move naptimes 15-minutes earlier throughout the day for four days. On day five, you will be back to normal nap times.
Infants without a predictable bedtime (0-6 months old)- Simply jump to the new time Sunday night as if you were traveling to a new time zone.