Welcome to the end of daylight saving time, also known as "are you flipping kidding me?" As if getting children to sleep isn't complicated enough, fall backing an hour is bound to disrupt your, well, life. And you aren't exactly keen on it for yourself either. But since the time change is happening anyway, what do you about your sleepless kids? Here's how to adjust your baby to daylight saving time.
"Some people use the Sunday of the time change to sleep in and let their babies sleep in as well, which makes the first day of the transition a piece of cake," Chris Brantner, a certified sleep science coach at SleepZoo.com, tells Romper in an email interview. "However, what often ends up happening is they try to put their babies to sleep an hour earlier that night, as many people have to adjust their schedules for work, day care, and/or school on Monday. The problem is that your baby probably isn’t tired enough to go to sleep an hour early."
The result? "Bedtime ends up being extremely frustrating," Brantner says.
"Not only that, but the next morning can prove to be a nightmare if you have to wake up your baby at a certain time to be off," he says. "That abrupt change of schedule is almost certain to prove a disastrous start to your week."
One of the biggest struggles with adjusting bedtime, of course, will be the fact that it begins to get darker earlier than your baby is used to, which can make it difficult for your baby's sleep schedule. Suddenly, they're ready for bed at 6:00 p.m. instead of 7, which means they'll be waking up earlier in the morning. By adjusting their schedule a few weeks in advance and having them go to bed a little later each day, you can hopefully eliminate all the crankiness.
And don't be afraid to also adjust your own sleep schedule. "As a parent, it’s likely you’re already dealing with sleep deprivation," Brantner says. Knowing your baby might be at 4:30 a.m. instead of their usual 5:30 can really throw you off your game.
You'll also want to be sure and expose your baby to natural light as early as possible because it helps reset the circadian rhythm, Brantner says. You can open up the curtains once everyone's awake and the sun is out to get their body back into a normal schedule, and also make sure they're getting plenty of sun before it starts getting darker earlier.
Really all this prep work is the core of parenting, right? Erasing expectations and learning how to go — at least a bit more — with the flow. It's definitely not always easy, especially when it's 6 p.m. and you're pleading for your little one to stay awake just an hour longer so you can miss that 10 p.m. party they have planned. But, there is, perhaps a small silver lining: You definitely aren't alone in your frustration.
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