It’s that time of year again — the dreaded time change. Waking up every morning in a panic thinking you’ve overslept, being ready for bed by 5:30 in the evening, what’s not to love?
The time change is also an adjustment for little ones.
Kiddos that are on good sleep schedules will have an easier time adjusting but still need a little help easing into the new schedule.
Babies who are already champion sleepers and waking up at a reasonable time are going to need about five days to adjust. The adjustment is going to require very little effort on your part and is all done after the time change. You will be responding to the time change, rather than anticipating the time change, and it should look like this:
Morning of Daylight Saving Time (Sunday, 11/4)
Your baby, who normally wakes at 6am, will now be waking an hour earlier at 5am.
When he wakes, hold off for 30 minutes before going into his room to get him. He most likely will not go back to sleep and may even get upset that you aren’t getting him. While it’s against our instinct to wait to get our little ones, the alternative is that you risk your baby’s sleep pattern falling apart completely and the new wake-up time creeping closer to 4am-5am every day.
Afternoon of Daylight Saving Time
Push your schedule for the day back by 30 minutes. Eating, naps, bath, and bedtime should now all be 30 minutes later.
Two-Three Days Following Daylight Saving Time
Continue with the 30-minute adjusted schedule for two to three days.
Once you’ve hit three days post-Daylight Saving Time, repeat step one above (for two-three more days), adding 30 additional minutes into the schedule so that you are now pushing everything back by one full hour. This will bring you and your baby back up to the correct wake up time in the morning that it was prior to Daylight Saving Time.
Three days in and it’s not working? There’s hope yet!
From The Bump:
If you don’t manage to perfectly prep for the clock change and you find baby’s sleep cycle is messed up the week or so after, don’t freak out. Just find ways to get back to your usual schedule. “Our body clocks really like routine and consistency,” Millette says. “What’s going to work with each family is different. You may want to introduce some calming activities or quiet time before bedtime, or make sure your child’s last nap doesn’t end too late in the afternoon.” The good news: Within a week or two, baby will adjust to the time change naturally.
Patience and consistency are key.
If you’re having trouble getting your little one on a good sleep schedule, or maybe you had a sleep schedule that has stopped working, we can help. Our expert sleep coach is available:
Getting your baby to sleep through the night is one of the most controversial, contradictory, and confusing aspects of parenting.
Kathy feels an infant sleep coach can help and it is important to empower parents by providing them with the necessary tools on sleeping, naps, and feedings.
She makes helpful, simple suggestions along with a few clear do’s and don’ts with how to best handle infant sleep. Her baby sleep knowledge is tailored to each individual family and every child’s particular need.
Kathy has knowledge of the Ferber Method, Babywise, Gentle Sleep Coaching, and Healthy Sleep Habits Happy Child. Combining her personal knowledge from her own five babies along with different strategies from baby sleep experts and her daily immersion of infants and new families, Kathy tailors a sleep program to fit your specific family’s needs. She prides herself on successfully giving the entire family a good night’s sleep.