Time change: what to do with baby?
We change time twice a year 🕐 on the last Sunday in March and the last Sunday in October. If baby has a regular rhythm, he will be slightly disturbed by this time change and it will take him some time to adapt... What can be done so that this does not upset all of little koko's good sleeping habits?
Here's Alice Baumer's answer to help you make the most of the time change with baby. Alice is a baby sleep expert and runs the "dormir comme un bébé" programme (sleep like baby) 👉 https://www.dormircommeunbebe.eu/. ou can also find her tips on her Instagram account.
Daylight saving time for babies
On the last Sunday in March, at 2am, it will be 3am.
This is only a 60-minute difference, but it can have a major impact on babies' sleep patterns.
When it takes weeks, sometimes months, to find the right rhythm, it is true that it can be annoying!
Why such an impact? Because the baby's biological clock has remained at the old time!
Yes, the time at which we fall asleep is not just accumulated fatigue, it is a biological time at which the body and the brain change "mode", and which is the result of the activities of the whole day.
What can be done to avoid a disruption of baby's rhythm? And what can be done to facilitate this time change with baby?
We give the right signals to our internal clock: we shift ALL the activities of the day, not just bedtime: naps, meals, baths, all time markers, and no more than 15 minutes per day if possible. Even better if you adjust by 15 minutes every 2 days.
We abuse the most powerful regulator of biological rhythm: natural light! We expose baby to as much daylight as possible in the morning, and dim the lights at least 1.5 hours before lights out in the evening.
And above all, take a breath! Each baby is unique and if some need to adapt gently, for others the change goes almost unnoticed! This is often the case even before 6 months. So don't panic!
Switching to winter time for babies
It's the favourite time change when you don't have a child and you can hope to gain an extra hour of sleep... But it's also the dreaded time change for parents when you have a little koko who is already up at dawn!
How to limit the impact on our little ones?
We take advantage of the extra hour of light in the morning to resynchronise our biological clock. It sounds simple, but a study has shown that exposure to natural light in the morning is the most effective way of limiting rhythmic difficulties in the event of jet lag and time change. 10 minutes is already very effective!
In order to adjust to the timetable set up before the time change, go gradually, and above all, shift ALL the activities of the day, not just bedtime: meals, naps, bath time... Try not to shift more than 15 minutes a day, or 30 minutes every other day, as it becomes harder for the body to adapt.
For this time change, preparing the week before makes sense to avoid waking up too early.
Of course, if it is possible to wake a baby up 15 minutes before, we have little control over whether he wakes up 15 minutes later (otherwise, we would have asked him a long time ago!). However, you should postpone meals, naps and bedtime, and wake-up time should follow very quickly!
If baby is still very small, you can also...not change anything! For example, if baby is used to starting his night at 8pm, getting up at 7:30am, and having a nap at 10:30am and another one at 2pm, then his new schedule will be 7pm - 6:30am, and naps at 9:30am and 1pm.
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