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Preparing for the Time Change & Keeping Your Baby’s Sleep Schedule

Daylight Saving Time ends this Sunday, November 6 – which means we will all “fall back,” and set our clocks one hour behind.

The good news is that we theoretically get a bonus hour to sleep in on Sunday morning. The bad news is that your baby probably won’t adapt to the time change as easily as the grown-ups in the house. Translation: you may be getting a 5 a.m. wake-up call instead of the usual 6 a.m. The time change is a small scheduling shift, but it can be tough on little ones, resulting in early morning wake-ups, disrupted nap and bedtime routines, and general crankiness (for parents and baby). Here are a few tips for managing the time change blues and get into the new swing of things.

Get a Head Start

Take advantage of the next few days to gradually adjust your child’s schedule before the time change. Make nap times and bedtime a little bit later each day, by 10 to 20-minute increments, in the hope that wake-up times will also shift later. This progressive transition should be more manageable than a sudden modification.

Give it Time

Expect that your baby will probably need a few days or weeks to get used to the new schedule. Some children aren’t very sensitive to these changes and will fall into a new pattern easily. Others prefer a set routine and will likely need a longer adjustment period. If your baby is extra fussy going to sleep or waking up, keep watch on the video monitor and see when you need to step in. Hang in there, and know that it will eventually pass.

Plan Activities   

Help your child get acclimated to the time change by emphasizing daytime and nighttime cues. Get outside to for active play when it’s light out, then head inside for quieter activities in the late afternoon. Lower the lights, run a bath, read stories, and do other parts of your evening routine a little earlier than usual.

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