With daylight saving time, it means we lose an hour of sleep, but for your baby it may be more complex than just that. Your baby’s internal sleep clock helps put your baby to sleep at a certain hour, and helps wake her up at pretty much the same time each morning. So it may be a little difficult to put your baby to sleep at the usual bedtime, and have her wake an hour later in the morning. If you have an early riser you may be getting excited about your baby waking an hour later, that may happen, but you will need to prepare in order to avoid sleep time struggles.
Also, if your baby needs to have a set bedtime and wake up time for daycare, you will certainly need to prepare since she will most likely have a difficult time going to bed at her usual time. To help make daylight savings time an easy transition for your baby, follow these 3 simple tips.
1. Prepare for daylight saving time, ahead of time.
Ideally, you want to shift your baby’s entire daytime schedule, not just bedtime. So for the 6 days prior to daylight savings, shift your baby’s schedule by 10 minutes each day until you reach the full hour. This will give your baby a chance to gradually adjust, without a drastic change in his or her sleep schedule. A young baby, or a baby that doesn’t adjust well to change, will not be able to tolerate an hour time change easily. An abrupt change may lead to many tears. Prepare your baby slowly and ahead of time. If you haven’t had enough time to prepare before the time change, no worries, you can even do this after the time change.
2. Get ready to deal with some bedtime troubles.
As I mentioned, your baby’s internal clock is set to get her ready for bed at a certain hour. With daylight savings time, you will be putting your baby down an hour earlier than she usually goes down. The new 7pm bedtime, will actually be 6pm prior to the time change. Meaning your baby will most likely have a hard time falling asleep that early. It will take about a week for your baby’s internal clock to be reset to the new schedule. Help your baby settle for the night by dimming the lights and keeping noise low. Creating a calm and quiet environment before bed will be important.
3. Get some good blackout blinds.
Daylight saving time means the sun will still be out during the evening hours. If your baby is used to falling asleep in the dark, it may be really difficult for him or her to fall asleep with even the slightest light coming in. Also, light suppresses melatonin, the hormone that helps your baby sleep. Making the room nice and dark will help tremendously. This is particularly important if your baby has to be up early in the morning for daycare. Making sure the room is dark so that your baby can fall asleep and get a proper amount of night sleep is every important. Here are my absolute favorite blinds. They don’t permit any light, and are a perfect solution for daylight savings time, early bedtimes, and even nap troubles.
Daylight saving time is not as stressful in the spring as it is in the fall when you have to change your clocks back an hour. Nonetheless, some babies still have a bit of a hard time. Making sure you prepare ahead of time by gradually shifting your baby’s sleep schedule will be a big help. Really good black out blinds will help the transition go more smoothly, as well. If you have an easy going and adaptable baby, you may be in luck and not have to do much!
Good luck and happy sleep!