Guest Post by Susete Pinto from Night Night Baby Consulting,
Now that your child is sleeping well… let’s talk about how Fall is here! It’s is one of my favorite seasons, as the weather gets cooler, the foliage becomes picturesque, and we gain an extra hour!
Okay, I understand your first thought probably wasn’t Daylight Savings, but if you’re anything like me, you love and appreciate quality sleep. However, knowing you will gain an hour of sleep might be sending you into a state of panic as you try to figure out how this is going to affect your child.
Children are habitual beings and they thrive on routines and predictability. Just slowly adjusting their bedtimes/naps will help you alleviate any crankiness your child may have with the hour change.
Here are a few of my tips on how to prepare for Daylight Savings:
(1) Use Black Out Curtains. These work wonders when you need to put your child to sleep and it still light outside.
(2) Minimize Screen Time
I always suggest to limit screen time up to 30 minutes before bedtime. To help prepare, you can distract your child with another activity until its time to start their bedtime routine.
How to help your child adjust to the new time:
Day 1, 2, & 3: Move up the child’s normal sleep time by 30 minutes (this includes naps). For example, if your child’s normal bedtime is 7:00, now make it 6:30.
For babies up to 2 years of age: Delay going in when baby wakes incrementally for a few days.
Day 1: If the baby wakes up too early (i.e., 6am rather than normal 7am), wait about 10 minutes before going in and checking on the baby.
Day 2: If the baby wakes up too early again, wait about 20 minutes before going in
Day 3: If the baby again wakes up too early, wait about 30 minutes (if baby is still waking at 6am, this means you should wait until 6:30am).
Day 4: Your child’s body clock should be adjusted to Daylight Savings.
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recently released its New Safe Sleep Recommendations to help reduce sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) where they now recommend your child to room share with you (in their own bed) for as long as 6 months but preferably until your child turns 12 months. This is a new guideline and may make parents pause as their picture of life post baby now includes trying to rest with baby in the room until the age of 6-12 months.
The AAP also recommends that babies should be put to bed on their backs and supervised tummy time will facilitate development. For a full list of the APP recommendations, go to www.aap.org.
These are important recommendations that parents should review and seriously consider. If you are worried that these new guidelines will impede your child’s ability to adjust, please be assured that they will not hinder your ability to teach your child the skills they need to be a dream sleeper and adjust to the new time change.
However, should you move your child to your room now? This is a question only you, as the parent, can answer.
I hope this helps you and your child adjust to the hour we are gaining! If you feel you need further assistance with this or you need help understanding these new guidelines, contact me via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Please note: My Services Are Not Medical Advice. The advice you receive from me is for informational purposes only and is intended for use with common early childhood sleep issues that are wholly unrelated to medical conditions. My advice is NOT intended to be a substitute for medical advice or treatment. Always seek the advice of your doctor or other qualified health practitioner regarding any matters that may require medical attention or diagnosis.
Photo credit: Kathleen Felion at http://www.kathleenfelionphotography.com
Susete Pinto, Certified Sleep SenseTM Consultant
Ph: (916) 513-5014