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2022 Daylight Saving Time: Baby Sleep Tips for Springing Forward

DST baby sleep tips

It’s finally beginning to feel like spring! The birds are chirping, tulip tips are pushing up and the hours of daylight are increasing, you know what that means it's time to turn our clocks forward!

To prepare for spring daylight saving you either have to go to bed one hour earlier or deal with losing an hour of sleep the next morning. 

As you can imagine, falling asleep a full hour earlier than usual is difficult for babies. This is because their sleep and wake windows are guided by their natural circadian rhythm, not a physical clock. 

Parents will need to gradually change their baby’s schedule to soften the groggy grumps. If you are wondering how to prepare a baby for daylight saving time, you’re in the right place. In this article we gathered everything you need to know:

  • Spring forward
  • Fall backward
  • How to prepare
  • Baby sleep tips

 For most people, Spring forward

Sunday, March 13, 2022 marks the start of daylight saving time in most of the United States (except for Arizona and Hawaii).

When we set the clocks forward in spring daylight saving our baby’s schedule becomes one hour out of sync with the rest of the world.

Fall backward

The end of daylight saving time - a.k.a. the "fall back" - will take place Sunday, November 06, 20We refer toost of the US.

Often welcome this time change, as it is easier to adjust to sleeping an extra hour than it is waking up earlier.

Most parents find that their daily schedules are not dramatically altered after daylight saving time ends. 

How to prepare baby for daylight saving time changes

For parents with babies, spring daylight saving time presents a tricky quandary: Do you move your baby’s bedtime earlier by one hour, or do you let the baby stay up later?

Most families do not need to do anything special to adjust to the end of daylight saving time. You will simply change the clocks, adjust your child’s bedtime according to the new clock time, and go about your business.

It is the start of daylight saving time, spring forward, where we lose an hour of sleep that can disrupt sleep patterns. 

To minimize sleep disruptions parents are advised not to rely on their baby's sleep schedule to automatically change with the time on the clock but to help their little ones adjust gradually. 

7 Tips to spring baby's sleep schedule forward

You can ease the disruption of spring daylight saving time with the right preparation. Here are 7 tips on how to prepare your baby for daylight savings.

Adjust gradually

Expecting a baby to fall asleep an hour earlier than normal is unlikely to go well. A slow transition to the new bedtime over the course of 4 days will make springing forward a little easier.  

The goal here is to adjust everything gradually before 6 p.m. becomes 7 p.m., this way your child will already be on the new schedule.

About four days in advance begin moving your child’s bedtime and wake time 15 minutes earlier, extending the time back every day until Sunday.

For example, if your child has a 7:00 p.m. bedtime, you want to begin with bedtime around 6:45 p.m., then 6:30 p.m., then 6:15 p.m.

DST adjust gradually baby sleep schedule

Prepare sleep environment

Our tiny dreamers move between light sleep and deep sleep every 20 minutes or so, which is a really fascinating, little-known fact. Babies will awaken for a brief time during these "sleep arousals," and may become anxious.

To help your baby sleep more soundly they need an environment that is dark with a soothing drone and is between 68 - 72 degrees Fahrenheit.

Swaddling

Swaddling is a must-have for daylight saving time because the Nested Bean Zen Sack was created with sleep disruptions in mind. The softly weighted cuddle pad aids infant self-soothing and sleeping independently. Parents who used Nested Bean sleep-sacks had a longer continuous sleep duration of 1-3 nights.

Dramatic wake-ups

Use a “dramatic wake-up” when you enter your baby’s room by opening the shades, turning on the lights, and giving a cheerful, “good morning!” This will help to reset baby's internal clock and make the time change less jarring.

Get outside

After their morning feed, get ready for your day and get outside for some natural light. Getting outside and exposing ourselves to natural light helps to reset our internal clock and makes the time change less jarring.

DST get outside baby sleep schedule

Make naps a priority

Sleep begets sleep. The fact is that a well-rested baby has an easier time falling asleep and remaining asleep at night. Naps are typically unpredictable until your child is approximately six months old, so it's fine to allow them to take naps based on their previous sleep schedule. Assure yourself that your child's nap time will naturally shift as their wake times shift.

Comfort in routine

Try to maintain their bedtime routine as normal as possible. Consistency helps babies feel secure and can make bedtime go much more smoothly.

A typical day might start with a wake-up call and cuddles, followed by a walk in the stroller or carrier. It's tummy time and nursery rhymes after baby naps. You may have a nighttime feeding, warm bath, bedtime book, massage, and lullaby once it's time for bed.

However, you structure your day, maintaining a daily routine will help your baby adjust more easily.

If your baby is not on a regular sleep schedule yet this is a great opportunity to start a routine to help make bedtime easier.


Baby still not sleeping?

Aakriti Narang

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