Navigating Your Baby’s & Toddler’s Sleep Through the Clocks Changes!
October brings lots of change, the weather gets colder, the nights draw in earlier and we turn our clocks back by an hour, many parents panic about how to adjust their baby’s sleep schedule accordingly. Daylight Saving Time can disrupt even the most established routines, and with a little one in the house, it might seem like a daunting. However, it is only an hour, with some patience, and gentle adjustments, your baby and toddler will quickly adapt to the time change. In this blog, we’ll explore some strategies for navigating your baby’s and toddler’s sleep as the clocks go back.
One effective approach is to make gradual adjustments to your baby’s or toddler’s sleep schedule. Start a few days before the time change by shifting their bedtime and nap times by 30 minutes each day You could do it even more gradually by 15 minutes each day if you start by Wednesday. This gradual transition can help your baby’s or toddler’s internal clock.
2. Expose Your Baby and Toddler to Natural Light:
Natural light is a powerful tool for regulating sleep patterns. Spend time outdoors on Sunday with your baby or Toddler during the day, especially in the morning. This exposure to natural light can help reset their body clock and encourage longer naps and better night-time sleep.
3.Consistency Is Key:
Maintain consistency in your baby’s and toddler’s bedtime routine. The familiar steps of a routine – like bath time, story time, or a lullaby can signal to your little ones that sleep is coming, regardless of the time on the clock.
4. Adjust Mealtimes:
Just as with sleep times, it’s a good idea to make gradual changes to your little ones mealtimes. You can start shifting feeding times by 15/30 minutes each day, syncing them with your baby’s adjusted sleep schedule, if you want to gradually make the changes, if not don’t worry on Sunday you can just shift everything by an hour, really in a few days they will have adjusted.
5.White Noise and Blackout Curtains:
Using white noise machines and blackout curtains can help create a conducive sleep environment for your little ones. These changes to their sleeping environment can help block out disruptions and help maintain a consistent sleeping environment.
6.Stay Patient and Responsive:
Remember that your baby or toddler may be a bit fussy during this adjustment period. Be patient and responsive to their needs. Comfort them if they wake in the night and offer settling techniques to help them fall back asleep.
7.Be Mindful of Wake Windows:
Every baby has a unique wake window, the amount of time they can comfortably stay awake between naps. Be mindful of these wake windows, and remember every baby has different needs, we may need to be a little more flexible.
It’s important to recognise that it may take your little one a few days to adapt to the hour time change. And you don’t need to do anything until Sunday there are no rules! You can just go with the flow and you can adjust their bedtime on Sunday, so I would suggest you stretch bedtime by around 30 minutes, you might have a couple of unsettled days but they will quickly get back into a good rhythm of sleep, especially as the nights are much darker now..
Navigating your baby’s sleep through the clocks going back might seem a bit daunting, but with a bit of planning and patience, it can be a smooth transition! You can either make gradual adjustments, or do nothing, exposing your baby to natural light, maintaining consistency in routines, and being responsive to their needs, you can easily help your little one to adjust to the new time schedule. Remember, each baby is different, and it’s important to tailor your approach to your baby’s unique sleep patterns and needs. In a few days, you’ll find a new rhythm that works for your baby or toddler, even after the clocks have changed.
If you require help or advice with baby and toddler sleep please get in touch!