29 02, 2016

Daylight Saving Time Sleep Tips For Spring

February 29th, 2016|Categories: Daylight Saving Time|

Daylight Saving Time Sleep Tips

February is ending and you flip the calendar over to March, happy that spring is on its way.

Then all of a sudden it hits you-the time change is COMING!

Cue the dramatic music! (Or, the theme from Jaws)

You JUST got your child on a decent sleep routine and now THIS happens. Who comes up with these things anyways, you think.

But don’t fear, dear parent, I’ve got you covered with some daylight saving time sleep tips-spring edition.

The Beginning of Daylight Saving Time In North America

The second Sunday in March, is when the clocks will move ahead one hour at 2:00am. This marks the beginning of Daylight Saving Time. Parents generally worry about either time change, but this one allows most parents to breath a sigh of relief.

Like most things associated with spring, this time change is a positive one for most parents as this is generally easier on parents (and children). In theory, parents will get an extra hour of sleep. Woohoo!

And to parents of early risers: time to celebrate! You are about to have a child that wakes at a more reasonable hour.

For those of you that want to know if you should be doing anything to help your child adjust and to keep the current routine you already have, here are some tips:

Daylight Saving Time Sleep Tips:
 1. Relax !

Our bodies are regulated by different body clocks, or circandian rhythms and the master clock ( suprachiasmatic nucleus or SCN) is located in our brain close to optic nerve.  This means the SCN is influenced by the changes in light throughout the day. So as the time change happens, a person’s body will naturally make the adjustments over the course of about a week.

2. Shift your child’s routine.

If you have a great routine in place and really don’t want it to change, you can choose to shift your child’s routine in small increments before the time change happens.  Start about a few days to a week before and slowly move your child’s entire routine earlier each day. It is important to not only start nap times earlier, but also meal and activity times so that you are helping reset the whole body clock. And yes, this does mean that you would need to wake your child up earlier too. 😉

3. Be flexible

Even adults feel a bit “off” for a few days when we experience a change in time change or routine, so you can expect your child will too. Depending on your child’s age and how well they’re sleeping, moving them to the new naptimes, which are an hour earlier than what their body is used to may be met with some resistance. If you want to ease your child into it, split the difference and put them down 30 minutes later (on the clock) for the first few days. For instance; if your child usually naps at 1pm, it will feel like 12pm once the time change happens and they may lay there for a long time before falling asleep. You can put your child down at 1:30pm (which will feel like 12:30pm) for a few days after the switch to help your child fall asleep quicker.

4. Protect the New Routine

This is one of the easiest daylight saving time sleep tips, but often overlooked and that is to protect your child’s sleep routine.  The early morning is when our sleep drive is the weakest due to the low levels of melatonin in our bodies and we, especially our children, are more easily woken up and find it harder to return to sleep.

In the summer not only does the sun rise earlier, but so do the birds.

Regardless of what the neighbours think; cover your child’s windows-garbage bags, towels, dark sheets or fancy blackout blinds. It doesn’t matter, as long as it’s dark and stops the early sun from waking your child up too early.

And in regards to the birds, they are lovey, but they can be loud in the summer, so  invest in some white noise. There are great sound machines on the market (make sure they play continuously and don’t shut off after 45 minutes), but a fan, radio on static, white noise on a CD or Ipod, can all be great alternatives to help muffle the birds that start to sing at 4am.

These are a few tips  to help with the onset of Daylight Savings Time. If you find that after a week, your child’s routine hasn’t settled, then Baby Sleep 101 is always here to help you with a customized sleep plan to tackle those persistent sleep problems.

Want more sleep tips to help your child sleep through the night? Be sure to download our free sleep guide here.

And if you have a quick question, be sure to join the Baby Sleep 101 free Facebook Q & A sessions on Wednesday nights from 8-9pm CST.

Did you find these tips helpful? Feel free to share this article with your friends.

 

26 10, 2015

Fall Back: 4 Tips for Your Baby and Daylight Savings Time

October 26th, 2015|Categories: Daylight Saving Time, Transition Tips|

The End of daylight saving time and Your Baby; How to Cope

With the end of daylight saving time coming up in November, everyone’s looking forward to that “extra” hour of sleep we’ve all been hearing about.

But the parents of young children might already be starting to worry. They’re imagining what life will be like if their child who’s been consistently waking up around 5:00 am will now be ready to start her day at 4:00 am!

If this sounds like you, there are four methods to help you get prepared and make the transition as smooth as possible. There’s still plenty of time!

But first: if your child wakes up too early already, it’s time to figure out why.

What do I mean by “early”? It’s common for children to wake naturally between 5:30 am and 7:00 am. But if your child is regularly waking earlier than that, there’s probably a reason.

  • Your child is overtired at bedtime the night before. This is the most common reason for waking up before 6:00 am. And unfortunately, being overtired is a frequently missed as a possibly culprit of early morning wakings. To solve your child’s sleep debt, you’ll need to look at your child’s whole routine and make sure she’s getting the right amount of naps during the day and that bedtime is early enough. It’s worth working on good, healthy sleep habits now so a change like daylight saving time ending, won’t disrupt your child’s routine more than necessary.

 

  • Your child is hungry. Especially is your baby is under 9 months, she may simply need to be fed. Try offering a feed at this early morning waking. If she goes right back to sleep, you’ve found your solution.

 

  • Your child is uncomfortable. Common parts of life for a baby, like teething, a wet diaper, or a room that’s too hot or too cold, can be very uncomfortable and cause your child to wake up early.

 

  • Your child can hear too much outside noise. Did you know that your lightest stages of sleep happen in the early morning hours? The same is true for your child. Dogs barking, horns honking, a garbage truck driving by – these can all wake up your child just as easily.

Want more sleep tips for your baby? Download the FREE Baby Sleep Basics ebook here. 

Once you’ve addressed the sleep issues your child might be facing (or if your child already sleeps great and you want to keep it that way), you still have options to make the transition back into standard time even easier.

1. The simple approach: let your child adjust on his own. We all have internal clocks that operate on the light around us – the amount and the timing. And just like you’ll adjust to the time change in a few days, your little one can do the same. To make it even easier on your child, you could gradually move his bedtime forward by 15 minutes each night. He’ll be caught up soon!

2. A bit more strategy: shift forward to fall back. Four days before the time change, move your child’s entire routine (sleep, meals, wake up time, and playtime) ahead by 15 minutes, and continue that each day. Keep in mind that at first, you’ll need to leave your child in bed after they wake up from sleep times (naps and overnight) because they probably won’t sleep in automatically right away.

3. The complete routine overhaul. If you’ve got a child who gets overtired easily, this is the strategy for you. You’ll begin a full week before the time change and implement the 15-minute changes very gradually. On some days, you won’t switch the routine at all. Your child’s body will slowly catch up before being moved forward again. With this approach it’s important that you leave your child in bed longer, even if they continue to wake up at the regular time.

4. The happy medium. When daylight saving time ends, move your child onto the new clock time that day. However, with this technique, we also stay flexible with their routine for the following week. Maybe bedtime will need to stay early, or nap time will need to be moved – this method is all about taking cues from your child.

Changing up a child’s routine is never easy, but daylight saving time doesn’t have to lead to meltdowns. All it takes it a little preparation. With a well-rested baby in your house, you and your family will be less stressed and ready to enjoy the Fall.