So you finally got your baby on a schedule and now it’s Daylight Savings time?! We all know how hard it is to adjust to the time change, but it is much more difficult for our highly sensitive babies. Whether we are “Falling Back” or “Springing Forward” a few small changes can allow you to keep your baby on the same schedule. Unless you want your little one waking up an hour earlier every day, use these guidelines to keep your baby’s schedule through Daylight Savings.
I remember the days, B.A. (Before Artie), when I was ecstatic for the extra hour of sleep we would gain for Daylight Savings, but as new moms we must accept that extra sleep is a thing of the past! The good news is, Artie is on a schedule, so a few, small adjustments will make getting through the time change a breeze.
If we are “Springing Forward”, you must modify your baby’s schedule to accommodate for the hour we are losing. If you ignore the time change and put your little one to bed at their usual bedtime, you are actually putting them to bed an hour earlier than usual. If this works for your baby that is great! For my baby choosing this plan would be a disaster! Artie follows his schedule like clockwork, so I would be fighting an uphill battle if I tried to put him to bed an hour early.
To keep your baby’s schedule through Daylight Savings you have two options: wake him up an hour earlier or drop his last nap of the day. If you wake your baby up at his usual wake up time, which is actually an hour earlier, he will be on track for the day. You can follow his usual schedule and put him to bed at his usual bedtime because he has already lost the hour by waking up early.
If you choose to drop your baby’s last nap of the day, you will have a much easier time putting him to bed an hour earlier. Just follow your usual bedtime routine and put him to bed at his usual bedtime. It will actually be an hour earlier but your little one will be ready for bed after missing that last nap of the day.
If we are “Falling Back”, or gaining an hour, you will need to make similar changes to your baby’s schedule, but backwards. Rather than your little one losing an hour of sleep, he will gain an hour of awake time.
One option is to push back each nap to help your baby adapt to the hour that is gained. For example, if your baby takes two naps each day, push each nap back 30 minutes. Your baby will be awake for an extra hour, and ready for bed at their usual time. They will have the same bedtime, but it will actually be an hour later. If you fail to make these adjustments your baby will likely be ready for bed an hour earlier than usual, which means he will wake up an hour earlier the next day. Yikes!
Time Change for Younger Babies
If you have a baby under six months old, or a baby who is more sensitive to schedule changes, you may want to spread these modifications over several days. Instead of changing your baby’s schedule by a full hour on the day of the time change, you can adjust it in 15 minute intervals.
If we are “Springing Forward”, wake your baby up 15 minutes earlier than usual for 4 days. If we are “Falling Back” push back one nap each day by 15 minutes, for 4 days. By the fifth day he will be back to his normal schedule.
As the mother of your baby you know what is best for your little one! You may be able to keep your baby’s schedule through Daylight Savings without making any changes, or you may have to spread it over a week. Do what works for you and your baby and the transition will be a breeze!
If you have more ideas on how to keep your baby’s schedule through Daylight Savings let me know in the comments!
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