Twice a year we parents are faced with the dreaded “daylight savings” fiasco. For some kids this is a breeze and for others it’s the perfect storm for sleepless nights and grouchy days. Thomas has been a rockstar sleeper from the get-go, but little Miss Zoe likes to keep everyone on their toes. We ended up hiring a sleep consultant when Zoe was 5 months old to help us sleep train her, it worked really well and we’re so happy we took the plunge. To help all of you who have a Zoe in their life, I’ve enlisted Petite Sleep to give us the run down on how to tackle daylight savings. So here you go!
Petite Sleep’s: Advice for Daylight Savings
A common question I hear in the fall is how to deal with daylight savings time with our children’s sleep. There are basically 2 approaches to conquering daylight savings time, the cold turkey approach and the slow approach.
Before you choose which approach you’ll use, set your acceptable wake time. The acceptable wake time in my house is 6am. My kids go to bed around 7-7:30pm, so waking at 6am is fairly respectable. (don’t get me wrong, I’d love to sleep in but I know with young children that’s really just a pipe dream!!!) So if my kids wake before 6am, I treat it as if they woke at 1am… NOT ACCEPTABLE! I use my normal middle of the night wake response which includes perhaps a quick cuddle/hug, a short and soft explanation that it’s still nighttime and if upset ensues, then I leave and return at set intervals until they are quiet or have fallen back to sleep. It’s very important that my kids do not get out of bed until after 6am.
Now that you’ve chosen a reasonable wake time, let’s look into the 2 approaches.
Fast approach/ cold turkey:
Keep your baby/child up one hour later than his/her normal bedtime. Not an easy task and you’ll know if your baby can handle this!
With this approach, she/he may still wake up early the next day, but try to push through to the wake up time you have set. Remind him/her that it is still time to sleep and try to have the child stay in bed/crib until then. In the first few mornings, a few books might be a nice way of keeping your child in bed until wake up time. (not TV or ipad!)
For those sensitive little souls, this may be a gentler approach. Start preparing for the change 4 nights ahead of the daylight savings date (Tuesday, October 27th) and each night push bedtime ahead by 15 minutes. In the morning, also push wake up time. (so, if 6am is your acceptable threshold for getting up for the day, push it by 15 mins each day) By the time Sunday comes along, there shouldn’t be too much of a transition to the new time
Within a couple of days, you should all be on track and sleeping well again. Don’t fret over a few hiccups the first week of November, stay consistent with your response to early or unwanted wakes ups and you’ll breeze through it. We can’t expect our little ones to be perfect right away, be patient and give it a little time.
As is everything with kids, being prepared is half the battle. You have time, pick an approach and get prepared. If you’re feeling a little overwhelmed or that you may need some additional sleep support in general I urge you to reach out to Petite Sleep directly, Lauren really is a miracle maker. You can read more about our sleep training experience with Petite Sleep here and here.
A huge thank-you to Petite Sleep for guest blogging these helpful tips. Good luck, and remember if all else fails there’s always wine!