Sleep is a precious commodity for parents of young children, so something like Daylight Savings Time can feel like a personal affront to an already-tired parent. What to do when the clock says one thing and baby says another? Read more…
We’ve got some strategies for dealing with time change and your little one’s adjustment to a new bedtime, here…
Not all families have the time to prepare for a time change. Oftentimes, we’re hearing the clocks are changing on the night before it happens from Facebook or the evening news. (Organized chaos, anyone?) But for those who plan ahead, adjusting your baby’s bedtime schedule by 15 minutes a day, four days in advance, is a good method. For example, if baby’s bedtime is 7pm, put her to sleep at 7:15 pm for the first night, 7:30 for the second night, and so on. When clocks are adjusted on Sunday, you’ll have already done the work.
This same 15-minute method can work after the clocks have been officially changed. Try putting baby to sleep on Sunday night at his regular “pre-time-change” bedtime, but adjusted by 15 minutes. For example, if little Johnny usually goes to bed at 7pm, he’ll go to bed at 6:15 pm after the clocks have changed. Adjust for 15 minutes a day until you’ve reached your target bedtime.
What if baby wakes up an hour early? It certainly happens. This is not a perfect science, especially with babies under three to four months, whose circadian rhythms are still developing.
One strategy: If baby wakes an hour early, and your schedule allows, have quiet cuddling time in his room with the lights off or dimmed. At his new, regular wake time, start your day and turn on the lights. But if this is not a practical solution for your family, try keeping the lights dimmed in your home as you go about your morning. Keeping the lights dim during the time when baby should be asleep will help to reset his internal sleep clock.
Some additional tips:
•Room darkening shades. In a pinch, even a blanket over the windows will do until you can get to the store or order online. (If it will get you an extra hour’s sleep…)
•A continuous white noise machine may keep baby slumbering longer.
•Be consistent with bedtime. A bedtime ritual, at the same time each night, will help your baby sleep more soundly. Take the three B’s to heart: “Bath, Book, Bed.” How long does this adjustment take? About a week. Need more help? Call us!