Most of us in the Northern Hemisphere have just gone through daylight savings into summer time, which means darker mornings and lighter evenings. While most grown-ups welcome the change, as a parent you may be struggling with adjusting your child’s sleep to daylight savings time.
If your child was an early riser before, going into daylight savings may have helped them adjust to sleeping a little longer in the mornings. And some parents prefer to adjust their day routine to the daylight savings time – waking up at 8am and putting their child to bed at 8pm – so that they can make the most out of the lovely summery days.
However, if this doesn’t work for your family routine, and you want to get back to a 7am-7pm day, here are 2 key things to help with adjusting your child’s sleep to daylight savings time.
Tip 1: Adjust your child’s wake-up time
The first tip is to wake you child at the same time each morning – the time you’d like for them to start their day. This helps to regulate their circadian rhythm and encourages them to wake up at the same time the next morning.
If your child is a little older, a sleep trainer clock (see here and here) might be a good investment – this will help your child know when it’s time to get up. This can also be helpful in getting your early riser to sleep a little bit longer in the morning, or to avoid them waking you up before you’re ready for your morning coffee.
Tip 2: Adjust your child’s sleeping environment
Making sure that your child’s room is pitch black for sleep is especially important now that the evenings get lighter. Melatonin, the sleepy hormone, is only produced in the dark, so do yourself a favor and optimize your child’s room for sleep.
Use black-out blinds to block out daylight and encourage melatonin production. Not only does this make bedtime easier, it also encourages your child to sleep longer in the morning, since they’re not woken up by the early sun rise.
Winding down in a dimly lit room before bedtime also helps babies and toddler to fall asleep more quickly. And who doesn’t love a no-fuss bedtime?!
If you’re travelling over the Spring holidays or during Summer, and you’re not sure how to darken your child’s room while on the road, a Gro Anywhere Blind might be just the right option. It’s an adjustable black-out blind, which fits most windows and is attached with suction cups. Great for holidays, while travelling, and those overnight stays at Grandma’s.
Adjusting your child’s sleep to winter time
If you are in the Southern Hemisphere, you just switched to winter time. Your baby may be waking up even earlier in the mornings, and struggling to stay awake in the evenings. If this is the case, you can correct their sleep schedule by adjusting your child’s sleep over the next few days.
Start by putting your little one to bed 15 min later than usual tonight. Continue to push out their bedtime by 15 min each night until you meat the desired bedtime. Also, try to resettle your child a little bit longer in the mornings. Continue to push out the bedtime and wake-up time until your child is back on their regular sleep schedule.
I hope you found these tips helpful for adjusting your child’s sleep to daylight savings time or winter time. If you’ve been struggling with your child’s sleep for a while, or continue to struggle past the normal adjustment period of a couple of weeks, don’t hesitate to book a free 15-minute sleep consult, so we can find ways to get your child and you the sleep you need and deserve.