While many people are excited about gaining an hour of sleep when we “fall back” for daylight saving time this weekend, some parents may be cringing that their little ones will be up an hour earlier.
Sure, it's only 60 minutes, but as any parent can attest, routines and sleep schedules are important for babies -- and mom and dad, too.
Here, Dr. Harvey Karp, a nationally renowned pediatrician and BabyCenter.com sleep expert, provides tips on helping your baby transition into daylight Saving.
1. Start a few days ahead of time. “Make the end of daylight saving time easier by inching bedtime earlier a few days before we actually fall back,” Karp said. “Adults can easily adjust to adding a whole hour in just one day, but kids do best when we move them in baby steps.
2. Alter his/her schedule. Shift dinner and bedtime later in 20-minute steps: two days before daylight saving time, the day of and once again two days later, he recommends.
3. Enjoy some quiet time before bed. “I also suggest playing rumbly white noise and dimming the lights by 50 to 75 percent -- including turning off TVs and bright computer screens -- one hour before bedtime,” Karp said. “This boosts the release of melatonin -- the natural sleep hormone -- to get your child's brain ready to fall asleep.”
Another way to help your child sleep peacefully is to incorporate a bedtime-bath routine with products that have a special blend of calming aromas, such as Johnson's Baby Bedtime Bath and Bedtime Lotion. A warm bath with the wash, followed by a gentle massage with the lotion and a few minutes of quiet time will help your baby drift off to a better night's sleep.