Daylight Savings — Adjusting Your Baby’s Sleep Stress-Free
I think it’s safe to say we all have the same response to the term… Boooooooo!
Daylight savings to me means shorter days, colder weather, and now the kicker… having to adjust your little one’s sleep schedule. What the blahhhh?!
Like all things baby sleep, there is never one right way to make this adjustment. It really depends on your personality type and what you think your little one will respond best to. So, here are a few options.
1. Super proactive Mama — I am prepared and nothing will mess with my baby’s sleep!
- A week before the time change, start your baby’s day 10 minutes later each day. Wake windows and nap length stays the same, you are just starting your baby’s day 10 minutes later. If your baby isn’t adjusting to the new wake time, hold your baby in the room and keep it dark. Once you get to the adjusted “ok to wake time” do a dramatic wake up. Lights on, “Good morning baby!” change, feed, play!
- With this option, bedtime should naturally start to shift to 10 minutes later each day. Remember that wake windows and naps lengths stay the same.
2. Daylight Savings doesn’t scare me Mama!- I hate DLS, but I guess I should prepare?
- 2 days BEFORE daylight savings, put your baby to bed 15 min later. On Daylight Savings, put your baby for what would be 30 minutes later (time is actually earlier). 2 days AFTER DLS, put your baby to bed at what would be 45 min later. 2 days after that, you should be adjusted back to normal bedtime! Phew.. a little chart might be helpful for this:)
Example: For a normal bedtime of 7pm
- 2 days before: put your baby to bed at 7:15
- On Daylight Savings: put your baby to bed at 6:30 (adjusted time) to them it feels like 7:30
- 2 days later: put your baby to bed at 6:45 (adjusted time) to them it feels like 7:45
- 2 days later: put your baby to bed at 7pm (adjusted time) to baby it feels like 8pm
You have made the adjustment incrementally so your baby’s body has had time to adjust and you have made it back to a 7pm bedtime woohoo!! High Fives all around!
3. Daylight savings is tonight(?) Mama — This is me!
- Step #1 Change your clocks after you have had your coffee. This is a psychological thing, but if you feel like you are waking at your normal time on a Sunday, have your coffee and then make the adjustment, I think you’ll take it a bit better.
- Naps… this can get a little tricky, so don’t stress about it too much, you will get back on track! Your little one normally naps at 12:00, but is now ready for naps at 11. Try pushing that wake window a little, try for 11:15. You do want to make the adjustment but of course don’t want your little one overtired. Parenting is all about balance after all!
- Bedtime.. Your little one usually goes to bed at 7pm, but is now ready for bed at 6… again try to push it a little. Recall above and the never ending balancing act!
- Most important with this option, (did I tell you this is the option I have always gone with?) give yourself and your baby about a week to get back on track. You will get back on track, promise. If you are reading this I already know you prioritize sleep so I know you will make these minor adjustments to gradually get back on track over the week following Daylight Savings
No matter what option you are choosing, I have one top priority for all parents dealing with this (IMO) unnecessary time change… and that is GET OUTSIDE!!!
Nothing will help you and your little one make this adjustment better than getting outside and getting natural sunlight and trying to do it early in the day. Because after all, come 5:00, it will be dark (me quietly crying on the couch while my kids wrestle each other).
Hang in there mama! Although this change isn’t always pleasant…. DO NOT stress. The more you worry about it, the harder it will be. So hang in there and if you need a little assistance through all this, let me know! I offer 30 and 60 minute consultations if you need a little fine tuning.
Your Sleep Bestie,
AM Smiles is a highly effective baby sleep coaching service designed for busy families.
I help you harness the power of sleep training to improve the spirits and lives of you and your family through proper rest. I’d love to talk to you about your little one and help you get back to living life well rested! ❤️