How to Help Baby Adjust to the Time Change

By Cassandra Motherhood

alarm clock

Get ready, Mamas! We know it’s coming and we want to close our eyes (literally) and pretend that it’s not, but on Sunday, March 11th it’s time to “spring forward.” Can’t we just all “fall back” in bed instead? Daylight savings never used to phase me, but when you become a mom, it all changes. All the hard work of finally getting our kids on a predictable schedule suddenly gets tossed in the air and we have no idea where the pieces are going to land.

Losing that precious hour of sleep is tough on tired mamas, but (as we’re sure you know) can also  mess with our little ones’ schedules. For some families (I don’t know any of them), the time change won’t have much of an impact, but for others it can really throw things off for a week or two, especially bedtime and nap time. Don’t fret, there is a solution!

So, what can you do?

Before panic mode engages, I have some helpful hints to get you through the time change. Easing into it in small increments is a good way to make it easier on both you as a parent and on your little one. The key to avoiding the struggle of a sudden change in schedule is to begin the transition several days before. So here’s the deal:

To ease into the time change, try starting bedtime or naptime 10-15 minutes earlier each day (until you’ve reached a full hour earlier) to help them adjust gradually. To help them relax at a new time of day, you can also try a calming activity or use blackout curtains, relaxing music or a white noise machine to help ease the transition.

What are some other ways to adjust?

I suggest the following methods to help your baby and/or toddler through the time change. See which one is best for your family!

  • Transition gradually: If your little one is particularly sensitive to change in their routine, a slower transition like the daily 10-15 minute change above can be really helpful for both you and your little one.
  • Rip the Band-Aid: Go by the clock and stick to your child’s regularly scheduled naptime and bedtime. They may be a little moody, but you’ll see them adjust day by day on their own. Our little ones are usually more resilient than we give them credit for!
  • Adjust the schedule by half: This is the middle of the road option. You can adjust your schedule by a half hour for a few days then go back to your normal bedtime and naptime. This tactic gives you and your baby or toddler a little extra time to adjust.

It can take 2-3 weeks to adjust to the new time schedule so bear with it, there is hope at the end of the tunnel!  If you have other suggestions that have worked well for your family, please comment below with your advice!

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