It’s that time again… when we change the clocks, but this time an hour ahead. This change isn’t as bad as when we moved our clocks back an hour last Fall. However, the 1 hour difference still makes an impact on our little one’s schedule.
Often times parents are happy with this change, as the early risers are now waking up later. For others, it may not have an effect at all. Regardless, you want to know what to do should it change your child’s sleep pattern.
What Can I Do?
- Gradual Approach: For the younger babies, or the children who have a harder time adjusting to the change, this option may be best. Starting the week before you want to make sure you start moving your child’s schedule by 15 minute increments. That means all feeds and naps should be pushed later by 15 minutes every couple of days. So that while you may have your child going to sleep later for a few days, by the time Sunday comes around your child will be adjusted to the new time.
- Cold Turkey Approach: With this approach, you automatically adjust to the new time on Sunday. As soon as your child wakes up that morning, you go by their regular schedule according to the new time.
- You can help adjusting your child’s circadian rhythm by the exposure to light. You want to make sure you avoid bright lights/sunlight in the evening ex: TV’s and screens. And in turn in the morning when they do wake up, you can begin your day any time after 6:00 a.m. and expose them to the sunlight outside.
- Extra shades/black out curtains are crucial this time around. It will get darker later at night, and brighter earlier in the morning. Try to cover as best as possible those windows, so that no sunlight comes in.
- Remember that with the new time change, we will be losing an hour, so those first few days when you put your child down at the new bedtime, they may not be ready to go to sleep just yet. Try to be a little flexible perhaps in the timing of bedtime those first few nights, and always remember to respond consistently.