Get ready to turn the clock back on April 4th for the end of daylight saving! Cooler weather often means better sleep. (Both adults and children tend to sleep better and more deeply in cooler temperatures.) This is your chance to get ahead and create your perfect sleep schedule.
Even if it varies from person to person, a good room temperature to aim for is 20°C, so be careful not to try and compensate for the cooler weather by dressing your baby or child too warm.
Some children will struggle, and we all know too well how precious that early morning hour is. You will notice during the colder months that your child may want to go to bed slightly earlier in the evening, and probably wants to sleep longer at night. This is completely normal, as our sleep rhythm is affected by the sun and light. You might also notice that the longer night sleeps may affect the day naps. If you find that the longer night sleeps cause your child to get exhausted during the days, you will need to shorten the night sleeps slightly, to allow more time for the day naps. If your child tends to go to bed too late at night, and wakes up too late in the mornings, here’s your chance to bump her schedule into place, with a little help from the end of daylight saving!
How to adjust your schedule
Babies younger than six months old, will most likely adjust naturally within a few days, but if your child is over eight months old, on a strict feed and sleep schedule, or particularity sensitive to changes, you might want to plan for the change, and do it in small steps.
Take baby steps! When making adjustments to your child’s schedule, the trick is to make small adjustments gradually and to start as early as possible. This will assist your child to transition into place when the clocks change. Any drastic changes to your child’s sleep routine from one day to the next will almost guarantee the risk of leaving you with a cranky child with all the challenges we’re desperately trying to avoid. Mornings can be particularly challenging, when you are weighing up if your baby has had enough sleep for the night (especially if your baby wakes up too early).
By transitioning slowly and starting early, you can move your baby’s whole routine by one hour before the time change. For example: If your baby normally wakes up at 6am, and you’d like her to wake up at 6am after the time change, you should start by gradually adjusting her whole routine, including meal, play and day naps. During the adjustment or preparation period it might mean you will be going earlier to bed and waking up earlier with your child. If you’re persistent and patient, you’ll get there and you’ll improve the sleeping habits of your whole family. Late bedtimes often lead to over-tiredness, which means restless nights for babies and toddlers, and earlier morning wake-up times. So keep an eye on your baby’s bedtime, and if needed, make the changes slow and steady as early as possible so you’re ready when you’re approaching changes to daylight saving.