Every time the clocks go forwards or backwards, parents across the world whose baby has finally settled into a nice sleep schedule or sleep routine go into a panic. As parents, we will happily adjust to an hour-later wake-up call but does that mean they are going to stay up later too? It’s also a great time to adjust bedtimes and nap times if needed or wanted, it all seems to be subject to change due to Day Light Saving Time – what can we expect?
Spring Forward, Fall Back
We are taught this saying to remember which way the clocks are going but, is it just us or can we also spring back and fall forwards meaning we still have to rack our baby-tired brains for the answer?
In March, the clocks go forwards by an hour and as our Baby Sleep Coach inbox begins to fill with worried parents, we wanted to share some quick tips for ways you might want to adapt your routine.
Ways You Might Want To Adapt Your baby’s Routine:
1) Start Putting Your Baby To Bed Slightly Earlier
To help with the transition of an hour, start putting your child to bed slightly earlier from Thursday. We recommend just 15 minutes early on Thursday and then to keep increasing by 15 minutes nightly until Sunday when you can put them to bed at the normal time. This can help by allowing your child minor adaptions and hopefully, the small changes will mean the wake-up time isn’t disturbed.
2) If your Baby wakes up an hour later once the times have changed, gently adjust naps
We all know the joy of trying to keep baby awake that little bit longer around nap time, but if your baby does wake up an hour later in the morning try to adjust their naps by 20 minutes so that they falling into the ‘new time’ schedule throughout the day. This should only take a day or two to allow them to adjust.
3) Go Outside!
The natural light/dark times affects our circadian rhythm which is a large factor in your body’s sleep preparation. Unsurprisingly, the ‘daylight savings time’ was created to capture the main hours of light! We have spoken about the positive effects of Vitamin D previously but it is definitely worth getting outside to let your baby soak up some natural light on the day the clocks move forwards.
4) Don’t adjust anything.
A lot of parents just carry on with their normal routines when the clocks change, whilst mentally preparing to potentially struggle to stick to bedtimes. Just as our bodies naturally adapt, so do our little ones. This is the method we at Sleepy Angels will be using, but it’s all personal preference. With my own children, I sometimes haven’t even realised the clock has changed!
What About Feeding Times When The Clocks Go Forward?
- A lot of parents, particularly with babies that haven’t been weaned yet, find that the main adaption when the clocks move is feeding times. Unless medically advised due to weight issues or premature babies, our Baby Sleep Coach advises against trying to stick to the 4-hour feeding schedule (which you can read more about here) and trying to be responsive to baby’s hunger and this is encouraged even more so with Daylight Savings Time adjustments.Our advice is to ‘be ready’ if you have to make a bottle up in advance but only to offer the milk feed earlier, aside from first milk on waking, if baby starts to show signs of hunger.
- The same applies with a weaned baby, however, we would suggest having light, healthy snacks such as carrot sticks on hand for if they get hungry earlier than the usual family mealtime. That way they have had some additional vegetables that hopefully won’t spoil their appetite for the family mealtime.
https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23910656/ – Entrainment of the human circadian clock to the natural light-dark cycle, The National Library of Medicine
https://www.sleepfoundation.org/circadian-rhythm/daylight-saving-time – Daylight Saving Time, The Sleep Foundation
We really hope this advice has helped to ease any anxieties you might be experiencing around the upcoming Daylight Savings Time. It is so understandable that parents worry all their hard-work around baby’s sleep will be ruined by this shift in time but we can reassure you that it won’t be, any adjustments will be minor and completely temporary!
If you have any further questions, or maybe you’re experiencing some other parenting anxieties you’d like to see a blog about please reach out to me.
Have you downloaded your freebie yet? Top 10 Baby Sleep Coach Tips To Help Your Baby Sleep Better Guide! If not, then make sure to click here.
For more advice on how to help your baby sleep and find a baby sleep solution that works for you and your family, you can check out our 1 : 1 consultation services or our new baby sleep guides which come with free access to my Sleepy Village Facebook community for easy access to get your questions answered.