How to Help Your Baby Adjust to Daylight Savings

How to Help Your Baby Adjust to Daylight Savings

How to Help Your Baby Adjust to Daylight Savings

At Baby Merlin, we know that before having a baby, daylight savings time was probably a minor inconvenience (or celebration, when you "gained" an hour of sleep instead of losing it). But with a little one in the mix, it can feel like a major interruption to their—and therefore your—sleep schedule.

When it comes to daylight savings and baby sleep, there's a notable consensus: making small adjustments in the days leading up to the time change can make a big difference.

How Can Daylight Savings Time Affect Baby Sleep? 

First, let's talk about why the time change can throw off your baby's sleep schedule. Babies' sleep cycles are shorter than ours—about 50-60 minutes, compared to 90 minutes for adults—and they move through multiple cycles during a single night. 

When their bedtime routine is disrupted (as it can be when the clocks "spring forward" or "fall back"), it can throw off their internal sleep clock and lead to disrupted sleep patterns.

This will affect some babies more than others. Maybe you'll be the lucky parent whose little one doesn't even notice the time change. But if you do have trouble adjusting, there are some tips for helping them (and you) get back on track.

11 Tips for Adjusting Your Baby’s Sleep to Daylight Savings Time

To make this transition as seamless as possible, here are some tips to improve your experience with this change:

1. Start Small

Don't wait until the night of daylight savings to make adjustments. A few days beforehand, start shifting your baby's bedtime and naptime by 10-15 minutes each day. 

This will make this change to baby sleep more bite-sized instead of a shock to their system.

2. Stick to a Schedule

Consistency is key when it comes to helping your baby adjust to sleep changes. Try to stick to their regular sleep amount as much as possible, even if it means waking them up a little earlier or putting them to bed a bit later.

3. Make Daytime Bright

During the days leading up to daylight savings time, try to expose your baby to natural light as much as possible. This will help their internal clock adjust to the new time change. 

We know the weather may be getting colder, but bundle up and take a walk outside or sit by a window while you do tummy time!

4. Dim the Lights at Night

On the flip side, dimming the lights in the evening can also help signal to your baby that it's time for sleep. A baby's circadian rhythm is still developing, so external cues like light can significantly aid in regulating their sleep patterns.

5. Adjust Other Schedules Gradually

If you're worried about making sudden changes to your baby's sleep, try adjusting more than just bedtimes; adjust naps and meals by 15 minutes every few days until they're on the new schedule. 

We know it’s tough to let something like baby sleep rule your life but if you’re able, try to make your schedule as flexible as possible in the days leading up to daylight savings. Then you’ll be able to take your time and make adjustments as necessary. 

6. Be Patient

Babies are naturally adaptable, but it may take a few days for them to fully adjust to this new time of baby sleep. Be patient and understanding during this transition period. 

And remember: the sleep patterns of babies under six months old are still developing, and the time change will likely have less of an impact. As they get older, rest assured that they'll become better able to adapt to changes in their sleep routine.

7. Make Sure They're Comfortable

Swaddles, sleepsacks, and sleepsuits can help your baby feel secure, and the right room temperature plays a huge role in their sleep.

8. Adjust Your Own Schedule

Time changes affect us just as much as they affect babies, especially if you have your own. Your schedule will greatly affect your baby’s so catering to that will help both of you adjust.

9. Keep Their Room Dark

Make sure your baby's room is dark and conducive to sleep, even with the daylight savings time change. Use blackout curtains or blinds to help them sleep through any extra sunlight.

10. Try a White Noise Machine

If your baby is sensitive to outside noises, using a white noise machine can help drown out any sounds that may disrupt your baby’s sleep during the transition period.

11. Take Care of Yourself

This is a time of change for everyone, so make sure to take care of yourself as well. Get enough rest, stay hydrated, and try to maintain a positive attitude.

These small changes can help ease the transition for your little one and hopefully prevent too many sleep-deprived nights for everyone involved.

Get Better Baby Sleep With Baby Merlin

Remember, every baby is different and may respond differently to the time change—but with a little patience and effort, you can help them adjust more smoothly.  And if you're looking for more sleep tips and tricks, the Baby Merlin Sleep System can help promote better sleep for babies of all ages.

With the Baby Merlin Magic Sleepsuit as well as a Dreamsack, your baby stays comfortable and safe, promoting better baby sleep for you and your little one. Check out our website to learn more about the benefits of this unique swaddle transition tool. Happy (hopefully well-rested) parenting!

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