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Elena Donovan Mauer
Contributing Writer

We ‘Spring Forward’ This Weekend! Daylight Saving Prep For Baby

PUBLISHED ON 03/06/2015

Consider this your warning: in most places in the country, we begin Daylight Saving Time in the wee hours Sunday morning. And that, of course, means moving your clock one hour forward before you go to bed Saturday night.

For most people, this simply means one hour less sleep, but for a sleep-deprived new mom, it could mean having a very unpredictable baby. That one hour is a big deal for baby. “It can be kind of like the baby has jet lag,” says Angelique Millette, a family sleep consultant in San Francisco. “They may be harder to put down at bedtime, or awake when they’re not supposed to be. When toddlers or older kids get off-schedule or their routines change, they may exhibit ‘testing’ behaviors.” Your child could be moody or cranky or act up, or need more naps.

Millette suggests starting early—tonight—and putting baby down for bedtime about 10 minutes earlier each night, so that by the time you reach Sunday, baby's going to bed one full hour earlier. (If you start a few days later, that's okay—it will just take that many days longer to get baby completely adjusted.) And hopefully, baby will be waking about an hour earlier. This can make the transition go much more smoothly, since it makes the change in bedtime and wake-time less abrupt for baby, and hopefully makes the switch to the new routine less jarring.

Get more expert tips on dealing with the clock change.