Daylight Saving Time: Falling back – How to survive and not throw off your child’s complete sleep schedule

Daylight Saving Time (DST) is the practice of re-setting our clocks to make better use of natural daylight. In the summer we set our clocks one hour ahead from Standard Time, and we move them back again in the fall. DST ends at 2:00AM on Sunday November 1, 2015. That means that we will be “falling back” or adjusting our clocks to standard time once again. For many, this can feel like they are getting one more AMAZING hour of sleep in the morning. For parents, this is NOT the case. Babies and children have a strong internal clock and they are more than likely NOT going to care what the actual clock says… They will wake up when they are used to waking up and forget the fact that their parents are still tired and not ready for the day.
There are ways for parents to survive a time change like this and continue on about their sleep without having to worry that their child’s schedule will be completely disrupted.

Daily schedule shift
Begin 4 days prior to the actual date that the clock will change. You will shift your child’s schedule later by 15 minutes each day until you have reached your new goal, starting with bedtime and then adjusting naps accordingly. For example, if your child goes to sleep by 7:00PM every night you will put him down for bed at 7:15PM on Wednesday, October 28th, 7:30PM on Thursday, October 29th, 7:45PM on Friday, October 30th, and 8:00PM on Saturday, October 31st. This will keep your child at a 7:00PM bedtime after the clocks have changed. He should transition easily when done slowly in this manner. Remember to shift the entire daytime schedule too by 15-minute increments each day as well especially for naps.

Cold turkey
If your child is already well-rested and handles change easily, you may choose to just let the time change happen naturally without shifting the schedule. Watch for sleepy cues and try not to push too rapidly. If you feel your child is becoming overtired, you will want to make bedtime slightly earlier for a few days.

Tips to help
• Pay attention to your child’s sleepy cues and try not to push her to remain awake too late if she appears to be getting overtired.
• Make sure her sleep environment is peaceful, super dark, and conducive to sleep. To make your room completely dark, Baby Sleep Well recommends BlackoutEZ as an alternative to standard blackout curtains. These are cost effective and can easily be installed or uninstalled in a matter of minutes. You can purchase the BlackoutEZ product Here
• Make sure you adjust timing of naps and not just bedtime.
• If your child continues to wake at the earlier morning wake-up time (doesn’t adjust to Standard time and remains on daylight saving time), try to let them remain in their crib/bed up until the correct wake-up time. Their body will eventually become accustomed to the new time.
• Make sure to spend plenty of time out in natural sunlight. This will help adjust your child’s body clock to the new time.
• Remember that babies and children learn by repetition so providing consistency is going to help get things back on track as quickly as possible.

The best thing you can do to prepare your child for the time change is to have them be a well-rested baby from the start. Baby Sleep Well can help you achieve this as soon as you are ready! Contact us today!!