SPRING. FORWARD.

How to deal with the time change and baby’s routine

Dealing with a time change can seem daunting, especially when you are already fatigued from lack of sleep. Here’s a rundown on how you can quickly get baby on their routine once the clocks spring forward this weekend.

 

1)    Set your alarm clock for your typical start of day time (7am) on Sunday

·     You don’t want to “oversleep” and end up starting your day late (8am)

·     Baby may be a little cranky because this will technically be an hour earlier for them

·     Work hard to feed baby fully and pay attention to your normal Optimal Wake Time

 

2)    Put baby down for nap at normal nap time 

·     If baby doesn’t seem tired, keep trying for nap until what would be their normal nap time

o  As an example, if baby is on 90 minutes OWT, if they ate at 7:00am, nap would be 8:30am, but 8:30a on Sunday is going to feel like 7:30am and they may not be tired

o  So work to get them down for their nap until 9:30am Sunday

·     Be mindful that this may cause shorter naps

 

3)    Work through the rest of the day by trying to carry out your routine in real time

a.     If baby is able to make it through the day with appropriate naps and waketimes, put baby to bed at their normal time

·     If baby has a 7pm bedtime, this will feel like a 6pm bedtime for baby so be mindful they may be a little fussier

 

4)    If baby takes short naps all day, you will add a catnap in the afternoon in order to get baby to bedtime and then in turn, will push bedtime an hour later than normal.

a.    If baby needs this extra rest to make it to bedtime without becoming overly tired, you simply put them to bed later

·     As an example, if bedtime is typically 7pm, you will move bedtime to 8pm 

b.     Then you slowly move bedtime backwards by :15 minutes each night until you get to your normal 7pm bedtime

 

If you consistently follow the above for a couple of days, you should see your baby adjusted to the normal time very quickly… This can also be applied while traveling and changing time zones.

OPTIMAL. WAKE. TIME.

The key to great naps, happy babies, and nighttime sleep.

Optimal wake time is something that is often overlooked when managing a baby’s day, yet it is a vital ingredient to getting your baby to nap well.

So what is optimal wake time? It is the ideal time a baby can stay awake at one time without becoming overly tired.  

Optimal Wake Time also ensures baby is getting enough daytime sleep which is crucial to getting a full night’s sleep.

Here are a couple of wake time related tidbits that are important to remember:

  1. Wake times can vary from cycle to cycle throughout the day for the same baby
  2. 5 minutes can make all the difference
  3. Watch for sleep cues at the beginning of Optimal Wake time window, and put baby down when you see them
  4. If you don’t see sleep cues, put the baby down 10 minutes before the end of Optimal Wake time window
  5. If you hit Optimal Wake Time for your baby, they will go down easy, sleep a full nap, and should wake up happy

WAKE. THAT. BABY.

Should I wake my baby from their nap?

YES!!!! There are a number of reasons you should wake your baby from their nap. For starters, your baby (at any given age) can only sleep a maximum number of hours per 24-hour period, and if too much of that sleep happens during the day, you won’t be organizing their sleep for the precious nighttime hours we all strive towards. 

Another thing that is affected by letting your baby nap too long is their ability to consume enough food during the daytime hours, allowing you to stop feeding them at night, and ultimately enabling them to sleep through the night.

It is essential for baby to take the appropriate number of naps per day for their age. A common problem I see is parents rushing to get down to as few naps as possible so they don’t have to be married to their baby’s nap schedule. I get it, no one wants to be home all day for naptime, but appropriate daytime sleep is essential for a full night of sleep.

Here are a couple of nap related tidbits I swear by (in no particular order):

  1. Prior to you baby consistently sleeping through the night, you should not allow them to take longer than a 1.5-hour daytime nap. 
  2. Find your baby’s optimal wake time and make sure they are down for their nap before they become overly tired.
  3. Develop a naptime routine and be consistent with it. (I love changing them into their pajamas for nap time)
  4. Try to avoid too many “on-the-go” naps in the stroller or baby carrier. 
  5. If they wake early from nap (30-45 minutes), work to get them to go back to sleep in the crib, the swing, on you, etc. The nap is more important than how they get it.


HELP. ME. HELP. YOU.

Dear Parent Who Wants To Sleep,

You have come to the right place. Whether you are expecting a baby or have one at home, I am here to help you get your loving bundle of joy sleeping through the night so you can enjoy your precious sleep and remain an upstanding member of our society. (I have been known to get pretty crazy when I’m sleep deprived, just ask my husband!)


But in all seriousness, I don’t know many people who enjoy being up all night, unless they are in the club. But let’s be honest, the only party you are going to be attending now is the one at the crib…your baby’s crib. (Yes, that’s right, your baby needs to be sleeping in their crib.)

I am here to help you get your sleep and change the misconception that it’s something you have to give up when you become a parent.

With love,
Ann