Babies Spring Ahead–Fall Behind
Happy weekend everyone! It’s that time of year again! Spring is almost here…Don’t forget to move your clocks forward 1 hour Saturday night (tonight)before you go to bed (i.e. from 9pm to 10pm). For some, they are anxious for the time change to happen because their baby is going to bed too late, but other parents are a frazzled mess because their baby or toddler is already waking too early and now the clock will say it’s even later! AAAHH!!!
What strategies can you use to handle the time change?
Do nothing. Your baby is waking at 7 a.m. and going to bed at 7 p.m. The day the clock changes, it will say 8 a.m., but it really is no different than the day before. You will stick to the same schedule and put your child to bed when the clock says 8 p.m. that night, which, to him/her, will really be 7 p.m. For babies or toddlers who are not sensitive to being overtired or go with the flow, this is a fine strategy and within a day or two, he will be all set and re-settle into the same schedule. If your baby is an early bird who wakes up at 5 a.m., for example, he/she will fall back to the normal routine of waking at 5 a.m. after a few days to a week and if you are happy with that, I would simply suggest going with this option and planning to wake up at 6 a.m. for a few days.
Slowly change your baby or toddler’s schedule over the course of a few days now that the time changes tonight. Saturday night, tonight before your time changes(if its not too late already), put your baby or toddler to bed 15 minutes later than normal in hopes that he wakes up 15 minutes earlier in the later(you can start this tomorrow night if your child is already asleep). Also, offer him naps 15 minutes later. Keep putting him to bed 15 minutes later each night until the night of the time change. By the time the clock changes, you would have shifted his schedule by 1 hour, the clock will change, and you will be back to your normal schedule. Unfortunately, this option can have a rippling bad effect on babies or toddlers who are sensitive to becoming overtired, possibly leading to crankiness, early morning wake-up, and short naps.
Stick to the regular schedule leading up to the time change and once the time changes, be flexible and alter the schedule only as much as she can handle. The first night, you may only get to a 7:30 p.m. bedtime, for example, and she will go to bed later than normal (counter-clock-wise). It’s the light that stimulates our eyes and sets our internal clock as to when we should sleep or not, so after a few days, she should re-settle into her normal schedule. Unfortunately, this option is really hard on those with babies or toddlers who are already waking up at 6 a.m. You may want to consider shifting your baby or toddler’s schedule in the 3 weeks leading up to the time change and, again, a week after the time change (if you do not like the 6 a.m. wake-up).
There are a variety of things you can do that fall somewhere in between any of these options, but these are the main options you have or you can try. But for most of you, after the “spring forward” change, some babies make the later time their permanent bedtime — so you may have to go with the flow. If you have any questions about your babies schedule or routine, we would LOVE to help! Please call Pink Newborn Services at 1-877-456-PINK.