Daylight Savings and Baby/Toddler Sleep – 2 Tips To Help Your Child Adjust To The Time Change

How Daylight Savings Time Affects Baby and Toddler Sleep
 

Daylight Savings tends to be a big topic here at The Baby Sleep Site®; we start getting e-mails in the Helpdesk up to a month before it ends, asking for suggestions on how to help babies and toddlers ‘fall back’ and adjust to the time change.

After working with many, many, many families to adjust to new time change schedules, we’ve learned a thing or two about how to make the transition a smooth one.

And that’s what we are talking about today! We’re presenting two strategies for surviving the daylight savings time change.

2 Options For Surviving Daylight Savings

  1. Do nothing. If your baby’s is fairly adaptable to change, and is not sensitive to overtiredness, then you can simply do nothing, take the time change in stride. This means sticking to your baby or toddler’s normal schedule as best you can. The exception to that would be the morning wake-up time; that will likely be earlier for a few days, or maybe a week. For example, if your baby normally wakes at 7 a.m., then after the time change, she will probably wake closer to 6 a.m. However, keep naps and bedtime close to their usual times. You can bump them up a bit if your baby or toddler seems really exhausted, but remember, this is a short-term solution. You don’t want to do this long-term, or you will create a long-term schedule change.

    This is also a good option for babies and toddlers who are waking up and going to bed too late. If this is the case, and if you would like your child’s wake time, naps, and bedtimes to be a bit earlier than they currently are, consider yourself lucky — the end of daylight savings will shift your child’s schedule backwards by an hour!

  2. Tweak your child’s schedule ahead of time. If your baby is already waking up too early in the morning, in relation to your ideal family schedule, we recommend doing some preemptive work ahead of time to ease the transition. Moving your baby’s schedule isn’t always easy, but in the next week or two, you can successfully move your baby’s schedule forward by an hour and then move it again, if necessary, to achieve your family’s ideal schedule.

    For example, if your baby is waking at 5 a.m., and you’d like her to wake at 6 a.m. or later, you can move her schedule forward one hour to 6 a.m., wait for the time to change (where she will be waking at 5 a.m. once again) and then move her schedule forward again. This works best when your baby is at least 8 months old, but some 6 month old schedules can be moved as well. Younger babies generally will adjust naturally within a few days to two weeks as long as you don’t strictly stick to the earlier schedule (a young baby’s sleep is already highly disorganized).

If you are interested, our Shifting Schedules e-Book outlines detailed steps (with examples) to moving your baby’s schedule. Available exclusively to Baby Sleep Site® members, it deals with managing early-morning wake up times, as well as late bedtimes. It also provides tips and insights that are useful for tackling the time change. It even includes a case study that follows one family’s schedule shift as they worked one-on-one with Nicole. Members have the option to download and print a copy of the e-book at no cost.

Reminders About How Daylight Savings Affects Bedtime

Keep in mind that late bedtimes equal overtiredness. And overtiredness equals restless nights for babies and toddlers, and even earlier morning wake-up times. So watch your baby’s bedtime carefully, and make it earlier, if needed (for a few days, at least – while your baby adjusts). Here’s an example, to help you visualize this point: if your baby normally goes to bed at 7 p.m., after the time change, 6 p.m. will ‘feel’ like 7 p.m., since it WAS 7 p.m. just a few days ago. So if your baby seems sleepy around 6 p.m., respect that, and put him to bed a little early (maybe at 6:15 or 6:30). This shouldn’t be a long-term strategy, of course (few families want a bedtime that early!) But it’s a good short-term strategy.

Prepare For The Time Change Like A Pro, With Our Resources!

The end of Daylight Savings Time is right around the corner – we’ll be “falling back” before we know it! If you’re too tired or overwhelmed to do a bunch of reading and to create your own DST prep plan, let us do the work for you. You can connect with one of our caring, expert sleep consultants today, and she’ll send you your very own Personalized Sleep Plan™ that will walk you through every step of DST prep. It will also outline the steps you need to follow to improve your baby or toddler’s overall sleeping habits.

Browse our list of consultation package options here.
 

Once you make your choice and purchase, you will immediately receive an e-mail with your Helpdesk login information. You’ll be able to login and start your Family Sleep History form right away – it’s that simple!

Want more information about how personalized help works? Check out our FAQ page here, and get answers. You can also take a tour of the Helpdesk.
 

bss_email_featprod_memberspic-CROPPEDOr, join our Members Area packed with exclusive content and resources: e-Books, assessments, detailed case studies, expert advice, peer support, and more. It actually costs less to join than buying products separately! Even better – as a member, you have access to our #1 Daylight Savings preparation resource, our Shift Your Child’s Schedule e-book. This e-book is the perfect tool for helping you gently shift your child’s schedule in order to accommodate the time change – and member can download and print a copy of the book! And don’t forget that as a member, you’ll also enjoy a weekly chat with an expert sleep consultant, which is perfect if you have truly tough, pressing DST questions that require expert help. And the best part – members receive 20% off all sleep consultation services!

 

How are you planning for the end of Daylight Saving’s Time? How do you anticipate it will affect your baby or toddler’s schedule? Let’s put our heads together and share some tips and advice!

2 Strategies For Surviving the Daylight Savings Time Change

Surviving Daylight Savings Daylight Savings tends to be a big topic here at The Baby Sleep Site®; we start getting e-mails in the Helpdesk up to a month before it ends, asking for suggestions on how to help babies and toddlers ‘fall back’ and adjust to the time change.

After working with many, many, many families to adjust to new time change schedules, we’ve learned a thing or two about how to make the transition a smooth one.

And that’s what we are talking about today! We’re presenting two strategies for surviving the daylight savings time change.

2 Options For Surviving Daylight Savings

  1. Do nothing. If your baby’s is fairly adaptable to change, and is not sensitive to overtiredness, then you can simply do nothing, take the time change in stride. This means sticking to your baby or toddler’s normal schedule as best you can. The exception to that would be the morning wake-up time; that will likely be earlier for a few days, or maybe a week. For example, if your baby normally wakes at 7 a.m., then after the time change, she will probably wake closer to 6 a.m. However, keep naps and bedtime close to their usual times. You can bump them up a bit if your baby or toddler seems really exhausted, but remember, this is a short-term solution. You don’t want to do this long-term, or you will create a long-term schedule change.

    This is also a good option for babies and toddlers who are waking up and going to bed too late. If this is the case, and if you would like your child’s wake time, naps, and bedtimes to be a bit earlier than they currently are, consider yourself lucky — the end of daylight savings will shift your child’s schedule backwards by an hour!

  2. Tweak your child’s schedule ahead of time. If your baby is already waking up too early in the morning, in relation to your ideal family schedule, we recommend doing some preemptive work ahead of time to ease the transition. Moving your baby’s schedule isn’t always easy, but in the next week or two, you can successfully move your baby’s schedule forward by an hour and then move it again, if necessary, to achieve your family’s ideal schedule.

    For example, if your baby is waking at 5 a.m., and you’d like her to wake at 6 a.m. or later, you can move her schedule forward one hour to 6 a.m., wait for the time to change (where she will be waking at 5 a.m. once again) and then move her schedule forward again. This works best when your baby is at least 8 months old, but some 6 month old schedules can be moved as well. Younger babies generally will adjust naturally within a few days to two weeks as long as you don’t strictly stick to the earlier schedule (a young baby’s sleep is already highly disorganized).

If you are interested, our Shifting Schedules e-Book outlines detailed steps (with examples) to moving your baby’s schedule. It deals with managing early-morning wake up times, as well as late bedtimes. It also provides tips and insights that are useful for tackling the time change. It even includes a case study that follows one family’s schedule shift as they worked one-on-one with Nicole.

Reminders About How Daylight Savings Affects Bedtime

Keep in mind that late bedtimes equal overtiredness. And overtiredness equals restless nights for babies and toddlers, and even earlier morning wake-up times. So watch your baby’s bedtime carefully, and make it earlier, if needed (for a few days, at least – while your baby adjusts). Here’s an example, to help you visualize this point: if your baby normally goes to bed at 7 p.m., after the time change, 6 p.m. will ‘feel’ like 7 p.m., since it WAS 7 p.m. just a few days ago. So if your baby seems sleepy around 6 p.m., respect that, and put him to bed a little early (maybe at 6:15 or 6:30). This shouldn’t be a long-term strategy, of course (few families want a bedtime that early!) But it’s a good short-term strategy.

How are you planning for the end of Daylight Saving’s Time? How do you anticipate it will affect your baby or toddler’s schedule? Let’s put our heads together and share some tips and advice!

Need help with your baby or toddler’s sleep? FREE copy of 5 (tear-free) Ways to Help Your Child Sleep Through the Night, our e-Book with tear-free tips to help your baby sleep better. For those persistent nighttime struggles, check out The 3-Step System to Help Your Baby Sleep (babies) or The 5-Step System to Better Toddler Sleep (toddlers). Using a unique approach and practical tools for success, our e-books help you and your baby sleep through the night and nap better. Or, join our Members Area packed with exclusive content and resources: e-Books, assessments, detailed case studies, expert advice, peer support, and teleseminars (including one about managing the time change!). It actually costs less to join than buying products separately! For those looking for a more customized solution for your unique situation with support along the way, please consider one-on-one baby and toddler sleep consultations, where you will receive a Personalized Sleep Plan™ you can feel good about! Sometimes it’s not that you can’t make a plan. Sometimes you’re just too tired to.

Can a Sunrise Simulator Help You and Your Baby Survive the Time Change?

Can A Sunrise Simulator Help You Survive Daylight Savings?If you’re the parent of a small child, you know that Daylight Saving Time (DST) can be maddening (all the non-parents or parents to older children rave about the extra hour they get — yeah right!). That little one hour difference in time can really wreak havoc your child’s sleep schedule. Suddenly, your baby’s up and raring to go at 5 a.m. instead of her usual 6 a.m.

Not the way mom and dad would choose to start the day, right? But who can blame her? After all, just a few days ago, 5 a.m. WAS 6 a.m.

Options To Help Parents Cope With DST

Fact: We can’t exactly alter our children’s inner clocks immediately. Fortunately, though, we don’t have to take the aftermath of DST lying down, either — we have options!

A few years ago, Nicole wrote this article for Working Mother, in which she laid out a number of strategies exhausted parents can use to help their babies and toddlers adjust to the time change. And we’ve written about coping with DST here on our own blog before, too — check out this article for more ideas about ways you can manage those first few weeks after turning the clocks back.

Nicole’s Note
“We are already getting questions in the Helpdesk about adjusting the kids’ schedules, including why we need to change our clocks anyway! Read this article for an explanation and discussion on whether it does, in fact, save energy.”

An Unconventional Option — The Sunrise Simulator Alarm Clock

But just when we think we’ve shared all there was about Daylight Savings, our fabulous readers share their own! :) That happened a few weeks ago; Baby Sleep Site® reader Jessey e-mailed us recently and shared her own method for dealing with the trauma of DST:

I just wanted to share a little discovery we’ve just made in case you could share it with others. With winter coming on, our mornings are very dark until around 7 AM (we live in Colorado). Our little boy goes to bed between 6 and 6:30 and we do not go and get him until after 6 AM (no night feedings anymore, but occasional hiccups here and there).

I was really struggling with how in the world he would know the difference between 5:30 AM and 6 AM when it is just dark. So, I put one of those sunrise simulator alarm clocks in his room. It starts lighting up at 6 AM – very low light at first and then gets brighter. It seems to be working like a charm. Sometimes he’ll wake up too early and it’s still dark and he’ll go back to sleep. Once the light starts coming on he’ll play in his crib for a little bit and then we’ll go in and get him.

Of course, we were intrigued. So we did some hunting, and we found this highly-rated sunrise simulator alarm clock on Amazon.com — the Philips Wake-Up Light.

How does it work? Simple — it simulates the sunrise, allowing your baby or toddler to wake up naturally and gradually, just like he would if the sun were coming up. And, as Jessey mentions in her e-mail, the flip side is that once your little one is used to waking up with this, when he does wake too early and finds it’s still dark, he’ll likely go back to sleep. This might mean an end to your baby or toddler waking at an unholy hour of the morning!

So, Does A Sunrise Simulator Actually Work?

According to many Amazon reviewers, and according to our very own Jessey, the answer is yes.

Still a skeptic? Take three minutes and watch this fun video, in which a team from Philips attempts to trick a rooster (named Simon) into crowing during the middle of the night, using the Philips Wake-Up Light. It’ll make you smile, I promise!

Join The Conversation!

We know Jessey isn’t the only Baby Sleep Site® reader out there with unique and insightful sleep tips. So we’re waiting for the rest of you to chime in — how do you cope with the days and weeks after the time change? How do you keep your babies and toddlers sleeping well?

Share your DST sleep tips below!

Time change got you down? Afraid that “falling back” will destroy your little one’s sleep schedule? Please be sure to pick up your FREE copy of 5 (tear-free) Ways to Help Your Child Sleep Through the Night, our e-Book with tear-free tips to help your baby sleep better. For those persistent nighttime struggles, check out The 3-Step System to Help Your Baby Sleep (babies) or The 5-Step System to Better Toddler Sleep (toddlers). Using a unique approach and practical tools for success, our e-books help you and your baby sleep through the night and nap better. Have a newborn at home? Download our free guide on newborn sleep, 15 Baby Sleep Facts New Parents Need To Know, or purchase a copy of our comprehensive e-Book on newborn sleep, Essential Keys to Your Newborn’s Sleep. Or, join our Members Area packed with exclusive content and resources: e-Books, assessments, detailed case studies, expert advice, peer support, and teleseminars. It actually costs less to join than buying products separately! For those looking for a more customized solution for your unique situation with support along the way, please consider one-on-one baby and toddler sleep consultations, where you will receive a Personalized Sleep Plan™ you can feel good about! Sometimes it’s not that you can’t make a plan. Sometimes you’re just too tired to.

Disclosure: The Baby Sleep Site® is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program and other product affiliate programs. If you click on a product link above and make a purchase, The Baby Sleep Site® may (but not always) receive a small commission from the company selling the product. This commission will not affect your purchase price. We only recommend products that we believe are quality products and good for our readers.

How to Get Your Baby Through Daylight Savings 2011

Baby Daylight Savings 2010The end of Daylight Savings is when we turn our clocks back one hour and is one of the biggest worries for parents of young babies. Daylight savings this year ends in Europe this weekend on October 30th and on November 6th here in the United States (most of them). I start getting questions about the time change up to a month or more ahead of time and understandably so, which is why this year I made sure I did a tele-seminar back in September about it, for those who wanted to get ahead in tackling this very “scary” issue. If your baby is already waking too early, just the thought of your baby waking an hour earlier is enough to make the calmest parent have a few butterflies. If you’re like me who obsesses about sleep (how else could I write about this every week?), it wouldn’t be surprising if you feel extra anxious about your 5 a.m. waker-upper waking up at 4 a.m. This article will help you survive Daylight Savings 2011.

If you already have a baby waking too early

For those of you who have an early riser, you may want to start working on your baby’s schedule, now. If your baby is 6 months or older and isn’t napping well enough, you may want to help your baby nap longer and get on a schedule in the next week, so when the time changes you will be able to adjust easier, keeping your baby from getting overtired. When your baby is already taking short naps, it’s very difficult to put her to bed at her normal bedtime, now an hour “later” than usual. Better napping means an easier transition.

If your baby is already waking up too early in the morning, in relation to your ideal family schedule, I’d recommend doing some preemptive work ahead of the time change to ease the transition. Moving your baby’s schedule isn’t always easy, but in the next week or two, you can successfully move your baby’s schedule forward by an hour and then move it again, if necessary, to achieve your family’s ideal schedule.

For example, your baby may be waking at 5 a.m., but you’d like her to wake at 6 a.m. or later. So, ideally, you would move her schedule forward one hour to 6 a.m., wait for the time to change (where she will be waking at 5 a.m. once again) and then move her schedule forward, again. This works best when your baby is at least 8 months old, but some 6 month old schedules can be moved as well. Younger babies generally will adjust naturally within a few days to two weeks as long as you don’t strictly stick to the earlier schedule (a young baby’s sleep is already highly disorganized). If you are interested, I go over detailed steps (with examples) to moving your baby’s schedule in my pamphlet called Shift Your Baby’s Schedule (I know not a very original title, but I’ve found that tired parents don’t always enjoy clever. :) They just want answers, which I try to provide straight and to-the-point in all my e-Books.). I’ve included a case study that followed one family’s schedule shift whom I worked with one-on-one. And, if you want a day-by-day plan to follow customized to your baby or toddler, I can read your history, review your sleep logs (if you have them), and tell you exactly what to do over the next few weeks. Some babies/toddlers are easier than others, so results do vary, but if you don’t try, you don’t know! You can purchase the book with a consultation at a discounted price, but if you need more than just help with a schedule change, I’d highly recommend a Personalized Sleep Plan™, which is much more comprehensive.

How to handle Daylight Savings

You have three options to handle the time change when Daylight Savings ends, as I went over in my article Time Change Sleeping Tips on WorkingMother.com (2 years ago but the options don’t change much year-to-year) and then again in more detail in my tele-seminar mentioned above.

The key to choosing the best strategy is your baby’s sensitivity to being overtired. If your baby isn’t overly sensitive to being overtired and is not already waking up before dawn, you might just “go with the flow” and wait for the time to change. Many babies will adjust within a few days to a week, just like we do. You will likely have to wake up “earlier” for a few days, since babies tend to sleep in less than adults, though.

For some babies, they will follow a combination of the abrupt time change and a gradual shift. The main thing to remember is that a too-late bedtime can cause over-tiredness leading to an even EARLIER wake-up time in the morning, which will make Daylight Savings even more difficult to manage. Remember that the new 7 p.m. is the old 8 p.m. and can likely have an adverse effect on your baby’s schedule. Rather than follow what your friends might be doing, make sure you take into consideration your baby’s sensitivity and adaptability when tackling the end of Daylight Savings. And, if your baby is already struggling to sleep, there is no time like the present to make the time change the time to make a change.

If you’re looking for ways to get your baby or toddler into a healthy sleeping routine during the day, I encourage you to explore Mastering Naps and Schedules, a comprehensive guide to napping routines, nap transitions, and all the other important “how-tos” of good baby sleep. With over 40 sample sleep schedules and planning worksheets, Mastering Naps and Schedules is a hands-on tool ideal for any parenting style. For those persistent nighttime struggles, check out The 3 Step System to Help Your Baby Sleep. Using the same unique approach and practical tools for success, this e-book helps you and your baby sleep through the night. If you become a member, you get access to all our e-Books AND the tele-seminar recording (as well as all the others, too, so basically you get access to everything in an organized way).

For those looking for a more customized solution for your unique situation with support along the way, please consider one-on-one baby and toddler sleep consultations, where you will receive a Personalized Sleep Plan™ you can feel good about! Sometimes it’s not that you can’t make a plan. Sometimes you’re just too tired to.

How will you handle daylight savings in 2011?