4 Ways to Prepare Your Baby for Daylight Savings Time Ending
Daylight savings time ending is that magical day each year when you get to sleep in for an extra hour. Unless you have a baby. As most parents know, babies’ internal clocks don’t automatically adjust based on a calendar. If your little one has regular sleep habits, they will likely wake up at their normal time this weekend. Only that wakeup time will now be an hour earlier according to the clock, which can throw everyone in the house off schedule. Here are a few tips to help your little one fall back to their normal routine.
Adjust baby’s schedule gradually.
Gently pushing back bedtime and wakeups over a few days can make for a smoother transition. If your baby goes to sleep at 7 p.m., for example, try keeping them up until 7:15. Let them stay in bed 15 minutes longer in the morning, too. Continue adding 15 minutes until you get to 8 p.m. Adjust naps and mealtimes according to this new schedule as well. Then when daylight savings ends, the clock will go back to 7 p.m. and the schedule will go back to normal.
Maintain bedtime rituals.
Babies love routine. If you do certain activities each night that signal bedtime, stick with them, even if you change the timing. Taking a bath, reading a book, or cuddling allows babies to settle down for sleep. Avoid screen time from the TV, tablet or other devices before bed. The blue light can overstimulate your baby to the point they can’t fall asleep.
Control the lights.
With the sky getting dark earlier, your baby might get tired sooner. An earlier bedtime sounds great, until baby notices the sun rises earlier and thinks it’s time to get up before you’re ready. Keep your house well-lit in the evening until it’s time to start the bedtime routine. And use blackout shades in your baby’s room so they know it’s still sleepy time even if it’s lighter than usual outside in the morning.
Some babies might adjust quickly and continue going to sleep and waking up according to the time on the clock. Others may need a few days to adapt. Every child is different, but most will learn to adjust to their new rhythms within a week or two. Keep in mind that even if you can’t enjoy an extra hour of shut-eye, your baby gets to enjoy an extra hour with you.
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