Greetings Mammas & Pappas,
Our clocks fall backwards Sunday November 2! What does this mean for your baby’s schedule?
I wanted to write a quick note on this because this time of year I hear from parents asking how to help their baby transition to the new clock, with minimal chaos. If you have a naturally early riser you’ll definitely want to consider this…
Come Sunday November 2, when you wake in the morning your clock will read 7am, when in fact, it is the old 8am. If you normally put your baby down for bed at 7pm, on Sunday night, you will actually be putting him to bed at 8pm (his little internal biological clock will be mildly thrown).
Is there anything you can do to help your baby to roll more easily with the fall backward?
Many parents choose to do nothing and everything works itself out in week or so.
With a sensitive baby, and early riser, or one who is adjusting to new sleep routines, a modified transition around the time change helps her internal clock adjust more easily to the change. With a gradual transition – bedtime will grow incrementally later for 4 (ish) days before we change our clocks. Keeping things low key around bedtime will help as you’ll be pushing your child to stay up slightly later each night. If your baby or child is becoming overtired around bedtime – go with it and quiet things down with dim lights, some cuddles and a quiet book.
To help prepare your child in advance, on Wednesday the 29th, start with adjusting naps and bedtime 15 minutes later so by Sunday you are in sync with the new time.. Here’s what the gradual shift would look like for a 7:00pm bedtime:
Wednesday Oct. 29 – 7:00pm becomes 7:15pm
Thursday Oct. 30 – 7:15pm becomes 7:30pm
Friday Oct. 31 – 7:30pm becomes 7:45pm
Saturday Nov. 1 – 7:45 becomes 8:00pm
Some parents shift things even more gradually – moving bedtime later by 10 minutes, every two days. This transition would spread out over 12 days.
Don’t forget that as you are putting your child down later, you are moving wake-time and naps later too.
It may take a few nights for things to feel back on track, but by avoiding overstimulating activities in the evening (aside from Halloween of course) and keeping bedtime routines familiar, your little one’s internal clock should quickly sync up with the new clock.