Time changes can be hard, especially now that you’ve gotten your baby (or big kids) on a solid sleep schedule. Everything’s going so well and then we're entering springtime where the weather is warming up and the days are getting a little longer or we're falling back, we want to stay cozied up in bed more and the days are shorter. With all of that comes the sometimes daunting task of adjusting your baby’s sleep schedule to account for Daylight Savings Time.
We’ve walked this path before and while it’s different for each baby, we’ve learned a few tips and tricks to help guide you through this time change transition.
Tips for Adjusting Your Baby’s Sleep Schedule
Start adjusting in 15-30 minute increments:
Start with the easy stuff: adjust your schedule in smaller increments of time vs. doing it all at once. Remember, losing or gaining an entire hour of sleep isn't just hard on your baby; it's also hard on you. Adjust in 15- to 30-minute increments as early as 1 week before Daylight Saving so everyone is adjusted when the time actually changes. Don't have a week before the time change? No worries. You can also start the day before and continue with daily adjustments until your schedule feels right again.
Set the Tone with Blackout Curtains And/Or Blinds:
I can't say enough about what a life-saver blackout curtains have been for me. They are great to help make these adjustments to your schedule for they are also great for sleep training! They're also clutch when (to quote my kids) "the sun isn't sleeping yet!" which results in a game of racing the sun to bed! All kidding aside, too much light can make it hard for anyone, especially babies/toddlers to fall asleep.
Use White Noise or a Fan:
If you ask my kids, they’ll swear by their sound machines. We’ve used them since my kids were babies and they still want the sounds on at night. Plus, I’ve heard that babies who sleep with white noise machines get an average of 30 minutes more sleep per night, which means that if I play my cards right, I may get 30 extra minutes too! If you don’t have a white noise machine, you can get a box fan, download a white noise machine app on your phone or find anything that provides a constant whooshing sound to help make the transition a little easier. Some monitors even come with built-in white noise machines these days! Score!
What about Naps?
My kids are all nappers, so adjusting their naps around Daylight Saving was the biggest challenge for me. No matter how old your baby is or how many naps they take, the same rule of thumb for nighttime sleep applies to nap time. The key is: adjust in smaller increments!
As moms, we've been down this road. It may be easier for some families than others, but you will get through it! Don't be too hard on yourself. We're all in this together, and the whole house will be adjusted and sleeping again before you know it!