Daylight Saving Time is around the corner, and I don’t have to tell you what a wrench it can throw into baby sleep schedules (no matter how loose they are.) So I asked Brooke from Sleepy on Hudson if I could post her cheat sheet on some ways to deal with it. These work in either direction, meaning you can tailor them to spring forward, or fall back. I’ll leave it up to you all to determine which one of these time changes is actually the worst, since in reality, anything that screws with your baby’s sleep is just plain evil in my book (I’m looking at you, Old Man Leaf Blower!).
How to Help Your Baby Adjust to Daylight Saving Time
1. The Do Nothing and Adjust Accordingly Plan
(This is my favorite because I always mean to do something but very often end up doing nothing)
That’s right. Just put your baby to bed at the old time and let them wake up to the new time. Run your day on the new time, moving meals, snacks, and naps to the new time. Bedtime might be a little rocky for a few days, but maybe this is your chance to get that super early sleeper to bed a little bit later. This also might be time to experience a day without that impossible 3rd nap. This approach takes a day or two to even out and is better for more flexible sleepers.
2. The I’m-So-Fricken-On-It, Do Something in Advance Plan
(This for those of you who have the ability to plan things out, and more importantly, follow through with them.)
Start adjusting your baby’s sleep schedule by moving towards the new time 15 minutes each day. The key here is to move everything 15 minutes – meals, snacks, bottles, nursing, naps, and of course bedtime. You will be living your new schedule and feeling very comfortable come Monday morning when the rest of the world is a little off their game.
3. The Slow and Steady, Do Something After the Fact Plan
(this is for those of you who couldn’t get on it, have a sensitive sleeper, and need to do small steps to help your baby adjust to their new sleep schedule)
You and your baby will adjust to daylight saving time slowly but surely. The goal is to head toward the new time each day by 15 minutes, moving everything closer to the new time, hoping to get there in 3-5 days. Here is an example: It is 7pm new time (but feels like 6pm old time). Your baby isn’t tired until 8pm new time. If you want that 7pm bedtime, then put him to bed at 7:45 new time, then 7:30, then 7:15, then 7.
Hope this all makes sense. For some reason, time change instructions make my head hurt and feel like I am doing logic problems with little success.
Good luck and have fun!
Our next recos: Baby Sleep Tips from Seasoned Parents
Got a pro-tip that works wonders in your house when it comes to helping your baby adjust to daylight saving time? Feel free to drop it in the comments below!