Q. How should parents adjust a child's sleep schedule to accommodate daylight saving time (DST) on Saturday night?
A. Many parents love when the clock is set forward, says Jennifer Waldburger, a social worker and co-author of "The Sleepeasy Solution" book and DVD. "If you have a child that's been waking early, you're going to get a boost," Waldburger says.
Let's say your child normally goes to bed at 7:30 p.m. and wakes up at 6:30 a.m. When you lose an hour Saturday night, she's going to sleep to 7:30 a.m., Waldburger says. On Sunday, move the nap schedule ahead an hour -- if baby usually naps at noon, wait until the clock says 1 p.m., and don't let her sleep longer than usual, Waldburger says.
Then, put her to sleep at 8:30 instead of 7:30 Sunday night, and her schedule should shift to 8:30 p.m. to 7:30 a.m. She may eventually acclimate back to the old schedule, but "at least you'll get to ride the wave for a little while," Waldburger says.
If you don't want the schedule to shift -- say you have a child who has to be up at 6:30 a.m. daily for school or day care -- wake her at 6:30 a.m. Sunday according to the new clock. She may be cranky due to the lost hour of sleep. Keep to the same nap and sleep schedule, darkening her bedroom in the evening so her body prepares for sleep though it may still be light outside, Waldburger says.