How to transition your baby to the new time change with little frustration!
Many families worry about how to deal with time change and their babies sleep schedules.
Whether you are preparing for the dreaded Daylight-Saving time change in Canada or planning a travel destination in a different time zone, this great tip will help you transition your baby with little frustration!
The best way to deal with the time change is gradually. Its very hard for ANYONE to adjust to time change as our bodies have gotten so use to a certain pattern. This is often why our tummy’s start to rumble shortly before lunch. We have gotten our bodies into such a consistent routine and pattern that it takes time for our body to adjust. Therefore, often the first week after any time change can be a bit stressful on our bodies. Babies have an even harder time adjusting to time changes because they don’t understand the concept of time and therefore cannot determine their day by the clock but by their body.
Time Change and Baby
Many parents try to adjust the baby’s schedule in one quick day, discovering that baby has a difficult time transitioning and often end up creating more upset for their baby. Preparation is the key! Often when a time change is approaching you will have time to prepare for it.
Approximately 1 week before the time changes, parents should start to gradually adjust their babies’ schedules “against” the direction the time is changing. For example, in the fall the time changes backwards by 1 hour. If your baby’s bedtime is at 8pm and their wake time is at 7am, the first night parents should push their baby’s bedtime to 8:15pm and wake them at 7:15am. They should then switch the baby’s entire day schedule to happen 15 minutes later then usual. Do this for 2 full days. Then push their bedtime to 8:30pm for 2 nights and wake them at 7:30am and again pushing their daytime schedule an additional 15 minutes during the day. Continue on to 8:45pm for 2 nights (again switching the daytime schedule) and then to 9pm so your baby is sleeping from 9pm8am. Once the time shifts backwards your baby will again be on the 8pm-7am schedule. Its important that you move the entire days schedule along with the later bedtime.
Also, its important that when the time shifts backwards you start with the first bedtime. However, when the time shifts forward (like in the Spring), you must start by first shifting your babies daytime schedule backwards. Meaning that you will be waking your baby up at 6:45am. Starting their day early will allow you to put them to bed earlier at 7:45pm. Again, do this for 2 days, and each day move it early and early by 15 minutes until your baby is sleeping from 7pm-6am. When the time shifts, he will be back to the 8pm-7am schedule.
If you are shifting your babies schedule by more then an hour, you can use a larger increment. So instead of shifting it by 15 minutes, you would shift it by half an hour each time. Keep in mind that any change to your baby’s schedule can sometimes be upsetting to his sleep. However, give his body time to adjust and everyone will be sleeping soundly again soon!
Written by Debbie Fazio, Precious Moments Babeez