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How to prepare your baby for summertime | My Baby My Star

Buckle up your buttercups, it’s time to set those clocks back an hour and disrupt everyone’s sleep schedule for a bit while everyone adjusts to the daylight saving time. Yes, it is that time of year and on Sunday March 13th Daylight Saving Time begins. Sure, it’s a minor inconvenience for folks who don’t have kids — I’m guessing you lose an hour of sleep. But have you ever tried wrestling a toddler or preschooler to bed when the sun is still shining outside and it’s only 6:30pm in their brain instead of 7:30pm and they just want to watch one more thing (read ten more ) Episodes of Daniel Tiger? I know this isn’t just our family.

Anything to do with sleep scares me terribly – by the age of 4-6 months my son was sleeping in 30 minute increments day and night – so it’s understandable why I’m desperate as I am to your child’s sleep can adapt to daylight saving time. Parents, I see you. I see you googling for infants, babies, toddlers, preschoolers, and even some older kids. Don’t worry, I’ve got you covered with some incredible sleep experts and a pediatrician here on how to get these kids ready for summertime.


How to adjust your baby’s sleep to daylight saving time

Luckily, if you have a baby younger than three months, you should be prepared for this time change, says Janey Reilly, CEO and founder of WeeSleep. “Since the baby’s circadian rhythm is probably not set in stone yet, don’t worry about adjusting. Your baby can wake up at the same time in the morning, but don’t force them to stay up longer than usual to keep on schedule,” she says. “In the morning, it’s okay to wake your baby up a little earlier. Morning light can actually help them wake up and then in turn help them fall asleep faster when it comes to bedtime.”

For babies between 3 and 6 months, Reilly recommends giving them a week to get used to a 15-minute change. For example, if you change your bedtime from 7pm to 6pm (which is actually 7pm), you change your bedtime to 6:45pm on days 1 and 2, and change it to 6:45pm on days 3 and 4 her bedtime at 6:30 p.m. Shift bedtime to 6:15 p.m. on days 5 and 6 and 7 p.m. on day 7

But what about naps? Reilly says: “Naps are more flexible when it comes to adjusting to daylight saving time. For babies over 6 months, transitional sleep is 15 minutes earlier every other day.”

“Typically for babies under 6 months, their nap time isn’t as predictable,” she says. “Just remember that the last nap of the day shouldn’t be too close to bedtime. They will need to be awake for 1-2.5 hours before they go to bed (depending on their age), so wake them up accordingly.”

Additionally, pediatrician Sharifa Glass tells Romper that if you miss the week-long preparation outlined above, try to eliminate one of your child’s daytime naps for the next 2 to 3 days. “Resume your child’s normal bedtime routine, such as bedtime. B. take a bath, brush your teeth and read a book. Your child will be ready to fall asleep at the new daylight saving time bedtime,” she says.


How to adjust your toddler and preschooler’s sleep to daylight saving time

“The preparation for little ones from 2 years old is the same as it was at 6 months old,” says Reilly. “Adjust a bedtime 15 minutes earlier two days at a time.”

“If a child is older than 3 years old and no longer naps, you can only slightly adjust the bedtime. This age is a lot of easier since they also understand bedtime and ‘time to sleep’, they won’t even notice the change that much and it will be an easier transition,” she says.

Andrea De La Torre, the owner and founder of Baby Sleep Answers, tells Romper: “To prepare a baby or child, you first have to know what your long-term goal is. Do you have to keep the same schedule to be able to go to kindergarten/work/school? Would you like to have some more time to sleep in? If you know that, then the second part is actually quite easy this time.”

“If you have to keep the same schedule on Monday and you don’t have a very sensitive child, just wake them up at the same time as they did before the clock change. Note that this will be an hour earlier for their bodies so you may have a tired kid, but just follow the same schedule.

“If you don’t mind changing the schedule and at least technically ‘sleeping in later’ according to the new clock, then just have your child wake up whenever they do and shift their entire schedule by an hour. So let’s say if they wake up at 6am, nap at 12pm and go to sleep at 6pm, they wake up at 7am, need a nap at 1pm and are ready for bed at 7pm


More tips for jumping forward

“It’s important for babies and children of all ages to expose the child or children to as much sunlight as possible during the day,” says De La Torre. “The sun is important for the alertness of our body. Also, remember to make the child’s sleeping environment as sleep-conducive as possible (dark, cool, and quiet). This helps the child’s body release melatonin and relax.”

Reilly suggests using blackout blinds to keep the sun out of her room to keep out the newly arriving sunlight, using sound machines, and trying toddler alarm clocks for older children. “Also known as ‘OK-to-wake’ or ‘GRO-clock’ alarm clocks, they’re a great tool for setting desired sleep and wake times,” she says.

“These clocks allow you to set a time based on when you decide it’s okay for your child to wake up… and can make it easier for a child over 3 years old to understand and follow a schedule and clock cues . ”

Most importantly, says Reilly, don’t panic. “Remember that even if you make a plan and feel up to date, it may not go entirely according to plan, and that’s okay! It usually takes people a full week to fully adjust to a time change, and that goes for children too,” she says.

“Breathe, relax and keep things simple by sticking to a fixed daily routine. As we always say, kids love routine, and most will naturally adjust to the time change within a week or so. Do not give up!”

“Be patient with your child and with yourself. You may become more overtired than usual and a little more cranky when your body is going through this change (think jet lag),” says De La Torre.

Benefits of Daylight Saving Time

Believe it or not, Daylight Saving Time could have some potential benefits (we have to be positive folks). “Advancing the clock one hour in the spring season has the benefit of providing more hours of sunshine, leading to more outdoor activity and exercise,” says Glass. “I prefer this spring plan to the winter plan. It gives us more sunlight, which helps us sleep,” says De La Torre.

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