Daylight Savings Time and Baby Sleep

It may not seem like it at all but your baby has some specific sleep patterns. The fact of the matter is, however, that those patterns are constantly being adjusted. It takes some time for baby to get used to life outside the womb, and it also takes baby some time to get to the point where her tummy won’t wake her up every couple of hours demanding food. And, the things that we do during the day in terms of our schedule have a much more significant impact on our baby’s sleep than you might realize.

Take, for example, the simple idea of Daylight Savings Time. Each March, moms and dads move the clocks ahead an hour. Each November, you set them back. When that happens, your baby can feel the effects because your routine changes.

While you’re likely to spring forward with little impact on your sleep patterns for more than a couple of days, your baby may be more severely affected. You may find that your baby just doesn’t want to go down at naptime or bedtime for a couple of weeks, even if your actual routine hasn’t changed at all.

So, how do you minimize the impact of Daylight Savings Time on your baby? While you can’t exactly ask the rest of the world to make changes just for your baby, you can make things a bit easier. You can start adjusting baby’s sleep schedule by about five minutes each day. If you’re looking at the March time change, start putting your baby down for a nap or for bedtime about five minutes earlier each day. It’s a good idea to shift the rest of baby’s activities as well, if at all possible. Obviously, you can’t ask your boss to let you come to work five minutes early each day or leave five minutes late, but you can shift the vast majority of baby’s activities.

After a couple of weeks, baby will be doing everything an hour earlier and not even notice the Daylight Savings time change. It’s more work for you, but only mildly so. Adjusting your schedule by a few minutes each day isn’t too significant. With any luck, the time change will pass and your baby won’t hardly notice it at all.