As the effects of daylight savings time take hold, it’s not uncommon to find yourself dealing with earlier morning wake-ups. That precious 6 or 6:30 a.m. start might suddenly become a challenging 5 or 5:30 a.m. awakening. Waking up to a 5 on the clock is never fun. However, we’ve got some strategies to help you navigate the abrupt schedule shift caused by daylight savings time:
- Delay the Start of Your Day: If your little one wakes up at 5:30 a.m., resist the urge to kick off your day right away. No feedings, no bright lights, just a quiet and darkened room. Hold off until 6 a.m. to signal the beginning of the day.
- Gradual Adjustments: To ease your child into the new routine, start by adding 5 minutes each day to their wake-up time until you reach your desired start time. Be patient; it can take 1-2 weeks for their little body to fully adapt to the time change.
If your little one is naturally inclined to be an early riser, here are some additional strategies you can explore:
- Check the Lighting: Ensure that the room is sufficiently dark to prevent unwanted sunlight from creeping in during the early hours.
- Opt for an Early Bedtime: An early bedtime is often recommended to prevent your child from becoming overtired, which can lead to early wake-ups.
- Adjust the First Nap: Schedule the first nap for after 8 a.m. to help your child sleep longer in the morning.
- Manage Naps: Ensure your child isn’t taking short naps throughout the day (creating an overtired baby at bedtime) or getting too much daytime sleep, as these can both affect their sleep at night.
- Habitual Waking: Investigate any possible noises or disturbances that might be triggering your child’s early waking habits.
- Hunger: If hunger might be causing early morning awakenings, consider adjusting the bedtime routine or feeding schedule accordingly.
Remember, adapting to the end of daylight savings time can be challenging for both children and parents. By following these tips and making gradual changes to your child’s schedule, you can help them transition smoothly into their new wake-up time. Patience and consistency are key during this adjustment period, so hang in there, and soon enough, those early mornings won’t feel quite as daunting.
Contributed by WeeSleep Senior Consultant & Team Lead Laura Wilson