This weekend coming up is Daylight Savings Time (DST), here in North America. That means we are pushing our clocks back an hour and for many that means an extra hour of sleep. In a perfect world, that means an extra hour of sleep for parents too because we all know how much we could use it. As much as we would love for that to happen, many of us will face the challenge of adjusting our kids to the time change. I wanted to share some of my tips, as well as some tips from sleep expert Kylee Sallak, on how to make the adjustment easier for you and your kids.
1. Stick to Your Routine
My first tip would be to stick to your current bed time routine. Children, especially my babies love routine and by following your everyday routine it will help them to understand that it is still bed time.
Although it wasn’t DST, when we were adjusting Emily and the triplets to an earlier bed time, we followed our same bedtime routine and just changed the time of when we started. By sticking to our routine, they recognized that it was still bed time and started to adjust to the new time.
Along with routine, sleep expert Kylee Sallak has laid out a schedule for both good sleepers and problem sleepers. She suggests starting a week before DST for problem sleepers and pushing their bed time forward by 15 minutes every 2 days. For those who are good sleepers, start on November 5th and push bedtime forward by 30 minutes then wait 3 days and push bedtime forwards by the remaining 30 minutes. I like this approach because you are dividing the time change up gradually rather than an entire hour all at once, which may be a very drastic change for young children and babies.
I think this tip would also work well with adjusting your baby’s sleep schedule anytime of the year. We did something similar with the triplets and Emily every time we changed their bedtime. If you can believe it, they all once had a bedtime of 10pm, I think at one point it was even 11pm, and now they all have a bedtime of 7:30pm, so it can be done!
2. Use the Darkness to your Advantage
My second tip would be to use the darkness to your advantage. This tip is directed more towards your toddlers between the ages of 2 to 3 who are more aware of things and understand bedtime better. Now that it is going to be getting darker sooner, you can associate bedtime with the sun setting.
Emily, who will be 4 in December, has been associating bedtime with darkness for a while now. This past summer was sometimes difficult to get her to bed at 7:30 pm when it was still light outside. She would say to me, “it’s not bedtime yet because it’s still light outside.” With the time change and an earlier sunset, it will be darker outside sooner and I will have an easier time letting her know it is time for bed.
Kylee Sallak’s first tip is to make sure you have a solid sleep foundation in place for your baby, which includes a dark room, brown noise and an earlier bedtime between 6:30 to 7:30pm. I have found that a dark room really does help with getting everyone to sleep and staying asleep. You can take advantage of the nights that get darker earlier to make your baby’s room dark just the way they like it and hopefully it will help to get them to bed between the 6:30 – 7:30pm timeframe that Kylee suggests.
3. Don’t Stress
My third tip would be to not stress yourself out. Every child and baby is different and may require a different amount of time adjusting. Some may adjust right away and others may need a week, it just depends on the child.
As with any change you make to your baby or child’s schedule, it takes time for them to learn. The same will apply to this DST, so make sure to give yourself the time you and your baby need and to be aware that it may take a full week to sink in.
If you find that your child or baby is not adjusting easily to the time change, Kylee Sallak recommends seeking help from a local sleep expert. They can offer you advice specifically for your child to help make things easier and to get them back on track.
Bedtime is so important for babies and young children and you always want to make it a relaxing and calm process. Daylight Savings Time and other sleep adjustments don’t have to be a stressful or scary time and although the adjustment may be harder for some babies and young children, it won’t last. One element of bedtime that shouldn’t be forgotten about is your baby’s comfort. Along with a comfy bed and dark room, a diaper that will keep them dry and last all night is key to a successful night’s sleep.
The Pampers Baby Dry diaper is designed to keep your baby dry for up to 12 hours of overnight protection. With three extra absorb channels, the wetness is distributed evenly across the diaper, reducing the sag of the diaper and keeping your baby dry. The Pampers Baby Dry diaper gives you the relief of knowing that your baby won’t wake up throughout the night because of a wet bum.
I think the most important thing to remember is that no one is the same and you and your partner know your children best. If you find your baby is having a hard time adjusting, don’t be afraid to spend a little more time staying with them and putting them to bed. As long as you stay calm and relaxed, your baby and young children will sleep and sleep with the new time change!
I hope these tips will help you and your baby take on Daylight Savings Time this weekend. To see sleep expert Kylee Sallak’s full list of tips and her schedule for adjusting your baby’s sleep, you can find that here – https://www.pampers.com/en-us/pregnancy/trending-now/article/expert-advice-adjusting-babys-sleep-for-daylight-savings
Thank you Pampers for sponsoring this post. All comments and opinions are my own.