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Daylight Savings Time Bedtime Transition Tips

Moms and dads… get set for a time change! Daylight Savings Time begins on March 12, and that means you and your child will be losing an hour of sleep. A 60-minute swing in the schedule can make a big difference in a child’s world. So, a week before the change, begin modifying your child’s bedtime. Move the schedule forward five to 10 minutes each evening to accommodate the upcoming change. 

The transition in the hours of sunlight can be a bit of an adjustment for a child. It’s helpful to keep in mind how much sleep your child actually needs.

  • Babies – 14-15 hours of sleep per day (begin establishing sleep patterns at four to five months of age).
  • Toddlers – 12-14 hours of sleep per night with one nap during the day (work the family schedule around naptime.)
  • Preschoolers – 10-12 hours of sleep (consistency is especially important in this age bracket).
  • Elementary school-aged children – 10-11 hours a night. 

Your child’s internal clock will develop a pattern over time. So, starting early for the Daylight Savings Time switch makes the transition easier for all ages.

Other than helping your child transition into a new sleep schedule, there are some other ways that can help keep them comfortable and well-rested. 

  • Schedule at time for quiet activities 30 minutes before bedtime to set the stage for bedtime.
  • Develop a consistent routine at bedtime. (Jammies on, teeth brushed, reading time, prayers, and kisses.)
  • Make your child’s bedroom a quiet, cozy place for sleep.
  • Use the bed only for sleeping. Do not put a TV or computer in your child’s bedroom.
  • Limit food and drink before bedtime.
  • Play soft music or provide white noise to mask other household noises.
  • Tuck your little one in and kiss him goodnight. Tell him you’ll see him when the sun comes up, setting the expectation that he stays in bed until morning. 

Now go to bed a bit earlier yourself to enjoy the extra hour of sleep. Extra rest is good for everyone!

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About the Author

Becky Danielson, M.Ed.

Becky Danielson, M.Ed.

Becky Danielson, M.Ed., has two of the best job descriptions, wife and mom. She is also a licensed Parent & Family Educator, co-founder of 1 Corinthians 13 Parenting, and the co-author of Raising Little Kids with Big Love and Raising Big Kids with Supernatural Love along with Study Guides. The series is available on Amazon. Becky and her family live in the Land of 10,000 Lakes. Subscribe to the parenting newsletter at FaithFirstParent.com and the quarterly newsletter at 1Corinthians13Parenting.com for parenting tips, strategies, and resources to equip and encourage you on your parenting journey.


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