Spring Is Coming: Will This Affect My Baby’s Sleep?
It’s that time. Changing the clocks once again. At least this time we are “springing forward” which is AMAZING for 3 reasons: 1) This time change can often solve the issue of early rising! 🙂 2) We will be seeing longer days and more light! 3) Spring is actually on it’s way and maybe this means no more snow?! Way better than the fall time change, if you ask me! How you decide to handle this change depends on your family, sleep routines, daily schedule and child. I’ll be honest, this always makes my brain hurt trying to think about this but here you go, 3 ways you can go about this so everyone continues to sleep peacefully.
1) Gradually make the adjustment beforehand:
In the next few nights, gradually put your child to bed 15 minutes earlier each night. If your child’s bedtime is 7PM, once the clocks change, the “new” 7PM will feel like 6PM for your little one. Their bodies might be saying “ I AM NOT TIRED YET” which could very well be true. So what you can do TONIGHT is put your child down 15 minutes early for bedtime. Each night another 15- minutes earlier, so that by Sunday night of this week you put your child to bed at their regular sleep time (7PM new time) because you have gradually adjusted your little one’s internal clock. Adjusting your child over a few nights is a way to shift their circadian rhythms so that once the time change occurs, their sleep rhythms have already adjusted.
2) Meet halfway:
So if bedtime is 7PM, rather than shifting gradually, you can meet in the middle between the old time and the new time. Once the clocks are changed, 7PM bedtime will feel like 6PM for your child so put your child to bed at 7:30PM after the time change (which feels like 6:30PM for your child). That way you are not jumping to the new time but not leaving babe on the old time and instead, meeting in the middle. After a week or 2 of putting your little one to bed at 7:30PM new time, you can go back to their original 7PM bedtime and all should be good!
3) Just follow the new time and change nothing:
This doesn’t work for all families, but this is usually how I handle the 1 hour time change. Once the clocks are changed you just go with the flow and follow your regular schedule. It might be few nights of adjustment as your child will be going to bed later than usual (not a great option though for babies who already have a “too late” bedtime or for babies that are not napping well and need that early bedtime start.) and will probably wake a bit later BUT it will likely resolve you’re issue of early rising! My little guy wakes at 6AM but after the time change, old 6AM will actually be 7AM new time! Like I said, for an over-tired baby who is not napping well, or a baby or child that is already struggling at bedtime/bedtime is too late, it would be better to go with option 1 or 2.
So give it a go! Give it some time for your little sleepers to adjust and before you know it, it will be summer, you’ll be drinking margaritas on a patio and you will have forgotten all about this minor time change! 😉 That’s what I’m hoping anyway.
Happy SPRING everyone!