Here we are again—another season, another time change. While changing our clocks again and losing an hour of sleep may seem daunting, this can actually be a little less disruptive to your little one's schedule than "falling back." With Zen Sleepwear and a solid plan in place, you can “spring forward” and keep your little one’s sleep schedule on track.
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Owner of La Lune Consulting, Certified Infant and Child Sleep Consultant
Depending on your child's current schedule, there's a couple of different ways to prepare for daylight saving time:
Strategy #1: do nothing!
Ideal for: babies with a current bedtime of 7 PM or earlier.
If your little one is already on a solid schedule, there's no need to change much. Your days will simply be shifted an hour later. This can actually work to your advantage if you have an early riser!
How to do it: If your baby's bedtime is 7 PM and they wake up at 7 AM, doing nothing simply means you're shifting to an 8 PM bedtime and 8 AM wake up time. If that works with your schedule, there's no need to change things up!
Even though bright sunlight won't impact your later bedtime as much an earlier one, this shift does mean that the sun will be up an hour earlier each morning. Make sure your little one's room is DARK—like really dark. Get those blackout curtains hung if you don't have them up already...otherwise you'll be waking up an hour early and going to bed an hour later, which will take away from the quality of your baby's sleep.
Strategy #2: a quick shift
Ideal for: babies with a bedtime of 8 PM or later.
If your baby is already on a later schedule, you will need to shift back a bit so that you don't end up with an even later bedtime after daylight savings. You'll want to do this gradually so your little one can more easily adjust.
How to do it: The morning of the time change, wake your baby up a half hour earlier in the morning. Then shift your bedtime that night to be a half hour earlier that usual. After a day or two, shift wake up time back by another half hour and shift bedtime another half hour earlier—then you'll be back to your original schedule!
For example, if your little one normally has a bedtime of 8:30 PM and a wake time of 8:30 AM, doing nothing after the time change would land you at a 9:30 PM bedtime and 9:30 AM wake up.
To make the switch, you'd wake them up at 9 AM on the morning following the time change (instead of letting them sleep until 9:30) and put them to bed at 9 PM that night. After a few days, wake baby up at 8:30 AM so their set up for a bedtime at 8:30 PM, setting you back to your previous schedule.
No matter which strategy you choose to go with, follow these tips:
- Use light and dark in your favor. Our circadian rhythm is dictated by lightness and darkness. Therefore, getting lots of light during wake times and keeping things dark and calm during sleep times will help to reset your little one’s internal clock.
- Continue your normal routines. Bedtime and nap time routines should all stay the same no matter what time they are at. It’s the steps in these routines, such as putting on her Nested Bean Zen Sack, that help signal to your little one’s brain that it’s time for sleep.
- Zen Sleepwear can help your child adjust to the time change even easier. The lightly weighted Cuddle Pads make your baby feel like she’s being held, providing that extra comfort to help her settle into sleep and stay asleep longer. Dressing your little one in Zen Sleepwear can help reduce the amount of night wakings and/or short naps she may otherwise experience when adjusting to a new schedule.
- Ask for help if you need it! There is absolutely NO shame is asking for help. Somewhere along the way, parents got the idea that they have to figure things out all on their own. However, careers like a sleep coach wouldn’t exist if that were true! Sometimes you need a guide and a cheerleader on your side. If you are struggling with any sleep trouble, related to time changes or not, please don’t hesitate to reach out for help.
You can get a free consultation from La Lune Consulting by contacting Chloe here.