Saying goodbye to winter means saying hello to springing forward with Daylight Savings Time. And that’s going to happen sooner than you think – on Sunday, March 13 at precisely 2 a.m.
Unless you’re in Arizona or overseas territories, you’ll be adjusting the clock to springtime too. Before you became a parent, this was an easy transition. But now you have a precious little baby with a precious sleep routine.
Will this hour-long time change throw you both back into the land of nighttime wake-up calls and wonky feeding schedules? Well, Daylight Savings Time may actually not be an issue at all. It all depends on your baby.
Expect Sleepy Mornings
After losing an hour of sleep in the evening when we spring forward, most of us feel a little more tired than normal the next morning. The same holds true for baby. If she has to get up at a set time, she may be sleepier than normal. You can plan ahead by waking her up earlier the day before and moving up her bedtime in an effort to keep her on track.
Boost Natural Rhythms
Your baby has an internal clock just like you do, so when it’s 7 p.m. her body will “feel like” it’s only 6 p.m. Sunlight is a natural trigger, so for the first week of DST take her outside in the morning, so she can feel and see the sunlight. Make sure you open the windows and let the light in. This helps your body get in tune with it’s new waking schedule.
If You Have An Early Riser
My oldest son wakes up early no matter what. His internal clock has its own alarm and it doesn’t have a reset button. If your baby is the same way – waking up at the crack of dawn – springing forward can be good thing. If you don’t do anything differently, she’ll just end up snoozing an hour later. For example, after DST she’ll sleep until 7 a.m. as opposed to 6 a.m.
If Your Baby Get Overtired Easily
Do you have a baby that completely falls apart when she’s overtired? One of my sons refused to doze off or take cat naps when he was tired, so we were totally fearful when he got overtired. Red alert meltdowns! If you’re worried about your baby being overtired, you can extend her naptime a few days prior to the DST clock change to make sure she’s more rested.
If You Want To Keep Your Schedule
If you like your schedule exactly the way it is, when DST rolls around just stick to it. This means if your baby was going to bed at 8 p.m., you’ll put her down at 7 p.m. If she was eating lunch at noon, feed her at 11 a.m. – which was just noon a few days ago! The problem is your baby’s internal clock may keep her from feeling tired at 7 p.m. or hungry at 11 a.m.
Trying to figure out nighttime Zzzs? Check out this article about tips for sleep training your baby!
If You’re On The Fence
If you think your baby is on a decent schedule, but you’re open to being flexible, try shifting the schedule by 30 minutes instead of 60 minutes. Think of it as going halfsies with DST. By moving feeding, napping and sleeping schedules up by 30 minutes, you can more gently nudge your baby back to her pre-DST schedule. It could take a week to get it back to where it was, but it will happen.
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