As October approaches, you may be concerned about how your child will adjust to the upcoming clock change. Luckily, there are several things you can do to help your little one through this transition period.
If you have a child who struggles with sleep, then you know how difficult it can be to adjust their schedule when Daylight Saving Time comes around. However, don’t worry- there are some easy steps that you can take to help your child adjust more easily!
It's important to stick to your child's normal sleep and feeding schedule as much as possible. This will help minimise any disruptions or changes in routine that could make your child feel unsettled or confused. Additionally, you can try easing your child into a later bedtime a few days before the clock changes, so they get used to going to sleep later and waking up slightly later on the day of the time change.
Many people will be resetting their clocks to “fall back” an hour. While it might seem like a good idea to do this before you go to bed on Saturday night, your child’s body clock may still think it is Sunday morning and try to wake them early. That will likely cause some sleepless nights for your little one.
If you want to set the clock back on Sunday morning, it’s best to do it when everyone is awake so they can adjust naturally.
While it might seem like a good idea to use this extra hour as an excuse to spend more time with your kids, you should be careful not to keep them up too late or else they’ll still be tired on Monday morning. That can ruin any new routines that are trying to be established. Just enjoy the extra hour with your family and try to get some rest on Saturday night so you’re feeling refreshed for the busy week ahead.
Adjust gradually (based on a 7pm-7am routine)
If your child is sensitive to changes in time, it can be helpful to slowly adjust their bedtime and wake-up time several days before daylight savings time begins or ends. For example, if your child typically wakes up at 7 am, they may be waking up an hour earlier after the fall change. To help them adjust more easily, you can gradually shift their bedtime starting from wednesday by 15 minutes later each day until they are sleeping for a little longer each night. On Sunday morning, the plan would be for them to wake around 7am with the clock change. On Sunday, follow your existing routine and put your little one down at the normal routine time.
This may seem like the perfect solution, but it can work; don't be alarmed if it takes your little one a few days to adjust to the new schedule.
Meet in the middle approach
Now, the second option I’m going to give you is to meet in the middle. In this example, if that time is normally 7:00 PM, we’re going to just meet halfway and we’ll go for a 7:30 PM bedtime on clock change night, which is the Saturday night. So, you just carry on as normal, 7:00 PM bedtime, and then on Saturday night, you just meet in the middle and do a 7:30 bedtime.
Another option is to do nothing at all
Some babies are extremely flexible, so the one hour time difference isn't a big deal for them.
Here are several tips that can help you navigate this transition smoothly-
Tip 1 is to continue with your usual bedtime and nap times as much as possible. Your baby's internal clock won't change just because of a time shift, so it's important to stay attuned to their sleep cues and try not to deviate too much from their normal schedule.
Tip 2 is to take advantage of any blackout curtains in your baby's bedroom. This will help make sure that the early morning sun doesn't startle them awake before they're ready and can help them stay asleep for longer periods.
Tip 3 is to try to maintain a regular daily routine that can help your baby adjust more easily to the new time shift. This might include activities such as playing or reading or simply spending quiet time together in their room before bedtime. Ultimately, the key to navigating a time change successfully is to be flexible, patient, and understanding as you work with your baby's natural sleep and wake cycles.
One key strategy is to keep things calm and consistent in the days leading up to the change. This will help your child feel more comfortable with any changes that happen on the day itself. Additionally, be sure to provide plenty of sleep, especially during the adjustment period. And if your child seems particularly fussy or has trouble settling down at night, consider using some gentle white noise or other soothing strategies to help her relax and fall asleep more easily.
At the end of the day, remember that adjusting to new schedules takes time, so be patient and supportive as your tot makes the transition. With a little patience and consistency you can help your child adjust to this change smoothly and successfully.