It's that time of year again: Daylight Savings is coming. On March 11th we are all going to have to "spring forward" and lose an entire hour of time. That sound you hear is the collective moaning of parents everywhere.
And while the start of Daylight Savings is easier to adjust to than the end of Daylight Savings, it can still throw a wrench in the lives of parents with young babies or toddlers. So check out today's blog and then put these tips into action if you have a baby that needs a little extra help when it comes to schedule changes.
The Easy Sleeper or Early Riser
The start of Daylight Savings is normally not that difficult for the parents of an easy sleeper. It can even be a blessing for the parents of an early riser (that 6:00 am wake-up time just became 7:00 am! Yessss!).
You may not need to do anything other than just be consistent with your sleeping and eating routines throughout the day on March 11.
If lunch is always at noon, then make sure you eat at noon even though you and your baby's body might feel like it's only 11:00 am. When bedtime comes around, stick with your normal time. If that's 7:00 pm, then go to bed at that hour even though outside it only feels like it's 6:00 pm. Remember your baby lost an hour of sleep today, so he or she should be ready for bedtime anyway.
It might take a few days to get things back to normal, but for those easy sleepers the adjustment is not that hard.
The Difficult Sleeper
On the other hand, if you have a baby that is not a great sleeper, needs a certain amount of sleep every day, or is thrown for a loop by the slightest change in schedule, you might want to start preparing for Daylight Savings several days in advance.
You can do this by adjusting your schedule ever so slightly every day or two.
Start by moving things back by just 15 minutes. If your child normally wakes at 6:30 am, wake him at 6:15 am for several days before the time change. Remember to adjust the entire day's schedule. If the morning nap is usually at 9:00 am, move it back to 8:45 am. The 7:00 pm bedtime becomes a 6:45 pm one instead. Do this for a day or two and then move things out another 15 minutes. Wake time is now 6:00 am and bedtime is 6:30 pm. You can continue the gradual 15 minute increment change up until the actual day of Daylight Savings.
That night, when the clock says 7:00 pm but it really feels like 6:00 pm, your baby will be ready!
And remember, the start of Daylight Savings also signals the coming of earlier sunrises and later sunsets. This means early sunlight peaking through the blinds and the sound of birds chirping. It also means bright rooms when it's time to go to bed.
If you don't already have your baby's room equipped with sound machines and dark curtains, now is the time to consider those.
Remember, no one loves Daylight Savings. But at least in the Spring we don't have to hear all those people without babies and little ones in their houses celebrating their extra hour of sleep. This time around we all lose!