Top 8 Tips for the End of Daylight Savings
In New Zealand, Daylight Saving ends at 2am on Sunday 4th April – this is just 2 weeks away!
If you are a parent who is struggling with early wake ups, then finding out that daylight savings is over shortly might be bringing panic to your house! Your 6am wake up is about to turn into 5am, and a 5am into a 4am…
BUT this is actually a good thing in my opinion, as it is giving your little one a bigger chance to get back to sleep before it really is time to start the day.
Here are my top tips for dealing with daylight savings.
1. Give your baby or toddler time to adjust. To get over a 1 hour change like this allow 2-3 weeks for everything to be right back to normal. That might mean you have to work quite hard on nap re-settling for a couple of weeks if your baby is younger in order for their body clocks to adjust. Even us adults feel a bit weird with this change over.
2. If 5am wake ups are already a habit in your house, I actually think daylight savings is a good thing for you. Previously at 5am, you only had 2 hours to get your baby or toddler back to sleep before 7am, so it might not have seemed worthwhile. But once daylight savings ends, this will be 4am, and you will technically have 3 hours to get your baby back to sleep before 7am, so the odds are pretty good! I would even suggest offering a bottle or breast feed at this time, even if you don’t usually as this will help your baby go back to sleep, and we can easily wean that feed off in the next couple of weeks as long as baby is going back to sleep before 7am, you are winning!
3. Don’t put your baby or toddler to bed late the night before daylight savings ends to try to push them to sleep later, this will most likely backfire in an early wake up due to over tiredness.
4. Spend at least 4 days adjusting your babies awake, nap, and feed times, either before or after daylight savings ends, don’t try to do it in one day. If you have a very sensitive child you might even spend 8 – 12 days doing this.
5. Newborns don’t have a mature circadian rhythm so will not notice the change over to the new times, so don’t panic and you can start to think about a nap routine between 6-12 weeks if this is something which suits your parenting style. You can download the Baby Sleep Consultant free nap routines here
6. Toddlers will adjust easily with the use of a sleep trainer clock if you adjust it in 15 minute increments and have a nice consistent routine at bed time in place. Check out Ooly for a brilliant tool here!
7. With summer over remember our babies and toddlers will be getting colder overnight. It is safest to have a clear cot for babies and rely on a sleeping bag like the SmartSnugg sleepers. Cold children wake frequently, and early in the morning. If you baby or toddler often sleeps on their tummy with their hands and arms under their body this is a sign they are cold. Try a merino layer or two under their sleeping bag and aim to keep the room at 18 degrees minimum.
8. If this daylight savings end hits you hard and you are left with an early riser, remember it is fixable, but can take up to 3 weeks to shift an early wake back to normal. Things like light, food and social interactions help teach our children’s internal clocks when morning is, so try to avoid these 3 things at 5/6am while working on a 7am start.