Adjusting Children to Daylight Savings Time

It is here - daylight savings time may shift the time only by just a little but it can have a massive after wave effect on a lot of families as they battle the time changes with their little ones. If this is your first time experiencing the transition to daylight savings this especially might make you feel nervous about all your patience and endurance towards creating the perfect sleep time regime now sits under threat thanks to Daylight Savings. Don’t let daylight savings take over with our 4-day plan that will guide you into adjusting your clock confidently. You are the parent and you have the ability to adjust that clock and we are going to work with you through the strategy to do this at a gradual pace and make the transition as effortless as possible for the whole family. In fact, it is much easier than you might think!

How does Daylight Savings Time affect my baby?

Changing to Daylight Savings involves modifying an existing schedule by incorporating an extra hour (depending where you live) into our daily routine. However, all babies are different, and some might find the transition more comfortable than others. This is because babies have very different needs in terms of sleep than what the rest of the family does.

What is the average time for a baby to adjust to Daylight Savings Time?

Luckily the drawback in a disturbed sleeping pattern is temporary in nature. In a worst-case scenario, parents are looking at an adjustment period between 7-14 days, before your baby gets used to the new routine. You can expect any transition in a babies life to have an adjustment period and this is another one of those circumstances.

Your Guide To Adjusting Little One's to DayLight Savings Times in 4 days!

Day 1

Day 1 of adjusting a little one to Daylight Savings time involves bringing all of babies set times forward by 15 minutes. This includes sleeping, feeding, and napping. The mini adjustments will form the basis of our 4-day strategy to success. The only variable in this instance is if you already have a mini early riser on your hands, then you won’t have to give a wake-up call 15 minutes earlier than usual.

Day 2

You guessed it! Our 4-days will mean that over the given period, we will be increasing the time increment by adding another 15 minutes earlier to the daily routine than the previous day. Today, we will kickstart our morning, by gently waking the baby 30 minutes earlier than the time they are used to, and move the rest of the day forward by 30 minutes as well to sync everything back into place. Keep going; you are halfway there!

Day 3

Our day today starts 45 minutes earlier than the norm, as we slowly adjust and move the rest of the day forward with another 15 minutes during the critical times mentioned earlier in this article.

Day 4

Today, you might feel a bit overwhelmed as the whole daily cycle is moved forward with an hour. It is both the most challenging day to get used to, but also means that this is the routine that will be kept during the daylight savings months. From here on out, the hardest part will be over, and the family will have time to adapt and get used to the new timings set out.

Daylight Saving's Time Adjustment Bonus Advice

  • If the 4-day plan is too challenging, the program can be adapted to that of increasing the time over a 6-day period with 10 minutes a day, instead of 15 minutes over 4 days. It’s advisable to amend the times at the pace that the whole family is comfortable with, instead of rushing the change if 4 days doesn't seem like an adaptable time to change for your little one.
  • Babies can be stubborn and might have a will of their own from a very early age. This means that despite your best intentions of laying them down to sleep a little bit earlier, they might have other plans entirely. Creating a soft, and dark ambience in their room, by making use of dark-out blinds, and soft lighting and music might convince them to see your way. Be patient and allow them the opportunity to settle earlier but don't feel disappointment if they don't settle until their usual time. We are teaching them a new habit that will take some adjustment.
  • Another micro-adjustment that can be made is to allow natural sunshine to filter into the nursery when they are to rise. Baby’s internal clock will let them know it is time to wake up when this phenomenon is present. If the nursery is too dark, the light in the room can be switched on as well to help the process of adjusting to daylight savings time.
  • Pre-preparation for the change in the body clock can be made easier by observing and trying to understand your little one’s existing sleeping patterns. Using a sleeping tracker to chart baby’s sleeping habits, will give you a good idea of how they operate, and will then empower you to make informed decisions about how to incorporate daylight savings time before you even begin!

Don't forget to adjust feeding times through Daylight Savings changes.

An essential tip is to ensure that not only napping and sleeping times are adjusted each day accordingly, but feeding times as well. Our internal clocks are regulated by our eating and sleeping patterns, and the tiny humans are no different. The good news is that by exercising mindfulness and calmness, even the most stubborn babies can make the changeover quite quickly and if you are ready to do it in 4 days then follow our plan above! You may also be interested in our other article what causes early rising in children here. Let us know how you go or pop any additional questions below. The Sleep Teacher is certified in child and infant sleep training. You can seek custom advice through a 1:1 consult session by booking here or additionally following her go-to sleep programs available here.
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