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5 Steps to Prepare Your Sleeping Baby for Daylight Savings Time

 
You know you’re a parent when you start thinking (or worrying) about how daylight-saving time (DST) on Sunday, March 10th is going to interfere with your baby or toddler’s sleep. Fear not! With a solid plan, you can sail through DST with minimal disruption to your child’s sleep.
 
Daylight Savings Time Starts on Sunday, March 10th at 2am.  We will move our clocks forward one hour. This means 6am is now 7am – and 7pm is really 8pm.
 
  1. Plan ahead. About 7 to 9 days before the time change, start shifting your baby’s nap and bedtime by 15 minutes earlier every few days. For example, if your baby goes down for a nap at 1 p.m. every day, put him down at 12:45 p.m. for a few days, and then at 12:30 p.m. for a few days, and then at 12:15 p.m. for a few days. That way, on the day of the time change and beyond, when you put him down for a nap at his usual 1:00 p.m. naptime, he has no problem falling asleep because you prepared ahead of time. Do the same with bedtime, and be sure to move mealtimes up accordingly as well.
 
  1. Adopt the new clock immediately. If your baby normally takes a 9 a.m. nap, on March 10 (and beyond), put her down for a nap at 9 a.m. If your toddler normally goes to bed at 7 p.m., put him to bed at 7 p.m. Don’t overthink it—on the day of the time change abandon the old clock and embrace the new one right away.
 
  1. Start the day no later than 7:30 a.m. While DST may be the only day of the year when your child actually sleeps in, allowing her to do so beyond 7:30 a.m. can throw her sleep schedule off for days to come. In most cases, it’s not worth it. Got an early riser? Set awake for the day no earlier than 6:30 a.m. On the morning of the time change and every day after, wait until 6:30 a.m. to get your baby. Being consistent with this wake time can help improve early rising.
 
  1. Install blackout shades. Longer, brighter days are glorious; bedtime battles are not. Blackout shades block the sunlight from entering their room so they can drift off to dreamland even when bedtime is at 6:30 p.m. (If blackout shades are still on your to-do list, you can create a temporary solution by hanging black construction paper or tinfoil with painters’ tape over the windows—of course be sure that all parts are out of your child’s reach.)  
 
  1. Get outside. Sunlight naturally helps set the body’s internal clock. On the day of DST, try to get outside at least twice—ideally before and after lunch. If you have a baby, place her play mat in a sunny spot by a window.
 
There’s no need to lose sleep over the time change because following these steps can help rapidly reset your child’s internal clock. Have your baby sleeping better in no time! And the best part is, Mamas, DST means that spring is just around the corner!
 
By Carolynne J. Harvey – Sleep Expert, Author of “Dream Baby Nights©” & Founder of Dream Baby Sleep®
 
About Dream Baby Sleep
Dream Baby Sleep® is a loving group of certified experts who are successfully teaching families how to create and maintain healthy sleep. By studying the temperament of your baby, parenting style and family dynamic we’re able to draw from all sleep training methods available to improve sleep. If you have additional sleep questions feel free to schedule a free 15-minute sleep consultation by visiting www.dreambabysleep.com/scheduler.
 
www.dreambabysleep.com
Instagram: @dreambabysleep

 daylight savings tips

Why Is Breathable Better?

 

The Key to Improving Nighttime Sleep (Other than a Quality Mattress)

By Carolynne Harvey, Certified Sleep Consultant & Founder of Dream Baby Sleep


If I had to choose one thing that I want you to take away from everything I have to teach about healthy sleep habits, it’s this: Make bedtime earlier.

There’s a pervasive misconception that keeping babies awake later at night will help them sleep later in the morning, and many parents fear that putting their babies down earlier at night means they’ll wake even earlier in the morning. However, based on the science of sleep, that’s simply not true.

All of our bodies produce a hormone called melatonin that naturally eases us to sleep. (I should mention here that I never advocate giving supplemental melatonin to children.) A child’s optimal bedtime is when levels of melatonin start to rise, which is usually between 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., based on their age and the quality of their daytime sleep.  When a baby or toddler doesn’t go to bed during this window of time, a chemical reaction occurs in which melatonin converts to the stress hormone cortisol. It’s like giving your baby a shot of espresso. She becomes wired, and trying to get her to fall asleep is an uphill battle.

A bedtime that’s too late sets the stage for three main problems:

1. Difficulty falling asleep because of the elevated cortisol levels.
2. Multiple night wakings—cortisol in makes it more difficult to stay asleep.
3. Early rising—sleep begets sleep; when bedtime is too late, they’re more likely to wake up earlier in the morning.

    Bedtime & Nap Chart

    Age

    Total hours of sleep per 24 hours

    Bedtime

    Tips

    Newborn

    15-18

    n/a

    Newborns typically sleep in cycles of 2 to 4 hours throughout the day and night.

    1-4 months

    14-16

    8:00 p.m.-11:00 p.m.

    Infants are still developing rapidly and feeding often at night. Bedtime is often late, but will inch earlier as you approach the 4- month mark.

    4-8 months

    14-15

    5:30 p.m.-7:30 p.m.

    Circadian rhythms are forming and a distinct 3-nap-per-day schedule develops. Naps should be at approximately 9 a.m., 12 p.m., and 3 p.m. If naps are short, bedtime needs to be on the earlier side of the range.

    8-10 months

    12-15

    5:30 p.m.-7:00 p.m.

    The transition from 3 naps to 2 naps occurs during this time. On a 2-nap schedule, naps should be at around 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. To  make up for the lack of a third nap, lean on an earlier bedtime.

    10 to 15 months

    12-14

    5:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.

    Babies transition from 2 naps to 1 nap between 14-19 months old. During this time, rely on an earlier bedtime to help ease the transition.

    15 months to 4 years

    12-14

    5:30 to 7:30 p.m.

    Hold on to the nap for as long as you can, ideally up to age 4. When your toddler drops the nap, she’ll need 1 extra hour of sleep at night.


    For many parents—especially those whose babies are early risers—implementing an earlier bedtime can feel a bit terrifying at first. It may not seem logical that putting your baby to bed earlier could possibly help her sleep later, but I can’t encourage you enough to give it a try. Be consistent about sticking to an early bedtime, and give it some time. When you take into consideration the science behind sleep and the fact that sleep begets sleep, putting your baby to bed earlier can, and often does, make a world of difference in both the quality and quantity of their sleep. Timing truly is everything.

    About Dream Baby Sleep
    According to the National Sleep Foundation, full-term, healthy newborns should sleep a total of 14-17 hours per day. Typically, a baby should clock 8-12 hours of sleep at night, with intervals of waking for feedings, and accrue the remaining hours by way of naps throughout the day. Dream Baby Sleep recognizes the many challenges families of newborns face when it comes to achieving maximum sleep, and believes in creating customized plans to meet the very specific needs of each family.

    Founded by Carolynne Harvey, a mom who broke all the rules when her daughter was an infant, the company wants to educate and empower parents to take control of sleep in their homes.

    For more information, visit dreambabysleep.com.

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