You might think that since Daylight Savings Time is simply a one-hour time change, your baby will be able to adjust quickly. Unfortunately, it isn't always so straightforward. When it comes to Daylight Savings and baby sleep, even the tiniest time adjustments can throw your baby's sleep schedule off, making them irritable and frustrated when it's time to go to bed.
Curious about how to adjust baby sleep for Daylight Savings Time? It all boils down to anticipating the time change and planning ahead of time. Continue reading to learn more about babies and Daylight Savings.
Why Does the Time Change Affect Baby?
Babies like to stick to their routines. They're also extremely attuned to their circadian rhythm, or internal clock. As a result, babies will stick to their habits and routines no matter what time of day it is. A baby that typically wakes up at 8 a.m., for example, will continue to wake up at this time regardless of whether the time has been pushed an hour ahead or or an hour back. Until their internal clock is programmed for the switch, your kid won’t be able to adjust to the new time. This reinforces the need for you to assist your child with the time change.
It's also important to remember that every baby is unique. When the clocks change, one baby may wake up even earlier than usual. Another baby may wake up later. Some babies will take longer to adjust to a time change, while others may adjust more quickly.
How Long Does it Take Baby to Adjust?
As previously stated, every baby is unique. However, even with that said, adjusting to the time change is a process. Even if your baby adjusts more intuitively, it is unlikely that he or she will adjust overnight. The majority of babies will adjust to the new time change within a week or two.
Strategies for Adjusting Baby Sleep
Prepare for the time change
Start putting your infant to bed ten minutes earlier every other day two weeks before Daylight Savings begins to help them adjust. You can also begin the transition one week before Daylight Saving Time and finish the week after, making the adjustment period last a full two weeks. This allows your child to gradually adjust to the change and allows their circadian rhythm to adjust as well.
Keep the same intervals throughout the day
The timings of your baby's daily routine should be adjusted to account for the hour time difference and the change in your baby's bedtime. Begin dinner a little earlier as well, so your child can maintain his or her normal sleep-wake cycle. Nap time should be modified in the same way that bedtime is, by increasing it by 10 minutes every other day.
Daylight Savings Tips for Babies
Aside from adjusting their bedtimes and meal times, there are other strategies you can use to help your baby adjust to the new time. Here are some of the best tips for assisting Bub in adjusting to Daylight Savings Time.
Keep Baby’s room dark
Your baby or toddler will not understand why it is lighter outside than usual. And it’s not as simple as explaining it to them. Keep your baby's room dark to "fool" their internal body clock into thinking it's darker than it really is. No matter how bright it is outside, blackout curtains can be an effective way of blocking out light.