It is that time of year again…the time we as parents get a bit anxious about our child’s sleep and it gets dark by 5 pm (I hate this part). I was worried that my son was going to wake up earlier than he already was which was 5-5:30 am! Like that wasn’t early enough. This was before sleep training and knowing absolutely nothing about how to adjust his internal clock.
So what do you do when this joyful time of the year comes around? You don’t panic. There is “spring forward” which normally falls around March and we set our clocks ahead by one hour and “fall back” which falls around late October, early November. “Fall back” is my least favourite as it reminds me that winter is on it’s way, but there are ways you can get through this bump in the road.
What you need to do is adjust your child’s schedule by increments and give your baby some time to adjust…take baby steps! If you put your child to sleep 10 minutes later each day for a week it will help immensely. By the end of the week, your child will be sleeping at their usual time considering the hour time change.
For example, your child sleeps at 7:30pm and therefore, the new bedtime is going to be 8:30 pm according to your child’s internal clock. By putting your baby down for bedtime 10 minutes later each night, it will get them to 8:30 pm in 6 days. On day 7, daylight savings time, 8:30 pm will technically be 7:30 pm again.
I advise changing your child’s entire schedule, not just bedtime as this will help your child adjust to the entire day and help keep him on track. When adjusting your child’s sleep and you notice they are waking up earlier than their normal wake time, stop with the 10 minute increments. Allow your child to adjust on his own as some children don’t need any help at all with this new time change.
I hope this information keeps you at ease and prepares you to take on daylight’s saving time! I will post another blog on “spring forward”, so keep an eye out for some tips on that!
If you have any questions about the information above, feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Certified Pediatric Sleep Consultant
October 27, 2017