Daylight savings is soon approaching and many of our little ones don't adjust as quickly as we do. Sleep expert and founder of Dream Baby Sleep, Carolynne Harvey, gives advice to moms for transitioning your kids to the new time.
Who doesn’t love Fall daylight savings? Anyone with a little one at home! That extra hour of sleep? Yea right! Instead of waking up at 6am, your baby is likely up looking for you at 5am and acting fussy as ever waiting for his or her nap to arrive. Adjusting to just one hour is “no big deal” to most of us, but the little ones at home take some planning. We spoke to sleep expert and founder of Dream Baby Sleep, Carolynne Harvey, to get her advice before November 4.
Hazel Baby: Why is daylight savings so difficult for little ones?
Carolynne: First, it’s important to note for babies under 4 months old, this does not apply, we pretty much hold steady and offer naps every 60-90 minutes to prevent an over tired state and work on our calm, quiet, dark bedtime routine!. For littles over 4 months old however, one hour can really throw off their entire schedule. If they rise early from daylight savings it tends to throw off the entire day, then disrupting the night, creating fussy, over tired kiddos.
Hazel Baby: How can we successfully transition our kids to the new time?
- The first step is to determine if you have an adaptable baby. If you skip an occasional nap or have a late bedtime and they tolerate it well you can start 2 days before the time change. If your baby is less adaptable, start 8 days before the time change.
- For adaptable ones, 2 days before the change make all sleep and meal time 30 minutes later and on Nov 4th add another 30 minutes to the schedule and you’re at the new time – easy!
- If baby is less adaptable and you want to take it slower, start by adding 15 minutes to all sleep start times and mealtimes 8 days prior to the time change. Every 2 days you’ll add 15 minutes to all sleep and meal time start times. For example, if you nap at 9am and 1pm and bedtime is 6:30pm you’re going to adjust to 9:15am, 1:15pm and 6:45pm 8 days prior to the time change.
- If you’re unsure how adaptable your little one is then take the slow and steady route and start this weekend.
Hazel Baby: How long does it typically take for little ones to adjust?
- If you go cold turkey and don’t change anything leading up to the time change it usually takes 7-10 days to adjust.
- If you modify your schedule 8 days early you should hit the ground running on daylight savings and ideally not skip a beat because you’ve gotten ahead of it.
- Sleep is a learned behavior and it takes time and patience to teach it to our kids. Creating and maintaining healthy sleep habits from a young age is very important for overall health and wellness.
Carolynne is a mom and the Founder of Dream Baby Sleep, a company that educates and empowers parents to take control of sleep in their homes. She is a graduate of Sleep Baby Sleep Certified Sleep Consultants and completed 250 hours of Family Sleep Institute Child Sleep Consultant program. She has a special interest in helping working parents achieve sleep success at home and offers corporate workshops.
To learn more from Carolynne or to download her e-books, visit DreamBabySleep.com