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Think back to your pre-kid life: Likely, you’d anticipate the end of Daylight Savings Time, when you get an extra hour of sleep on a Sunday morning, with a fist pump of joy (at least temporarily, until you realize how dark it gets in the afternoon). As it’s often said, having a baby changes everything, including how you feel about seasonal clock shifts. If you’re like many new parents, you may have spent last week trying to game out how dropping back an hour might affect your own and your little one’s sleep patterns.
Does falling back an hour mean the baby gets up earlier, or might she sleep later? Does it affect his naptimes? If you have a toddler, are you doomed to getting up for breakfast and playtime at 5 AM, just when you’d come to terms with your 6 AM wakeup call?
The fact is that even a time change this small (it’s just an hour!) can mess with a baby’s circadian rhythm, which is her natural sleep-wake cycle. It’s like a small dose of jet lag. And sleep experts agree that the key to surviving not just the day after the clock change but the potentially confused week after, as everyone adjusts to the new normal, is to pre-plan (best bet is to spend the week before the time change shifting your baby’s sleep times forward 10 to 15 minutes per day to compensate).
Think it’s too late (pun intended) to make the early days and weeks after a time shift easier on the whole family? It’s not! Here are some tips to ease the transition:
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