While many people are excited about gaining an hour of sleep when we “fall back” from daylight saving time this weekend, some parents may be cringing because 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. To help parents ease their children into the time change, Pampers teamed up with sleep expert Kim West, author of "52 Sleep Secrets for Babies" (Easton Studio Press, $9.95), to offer these four sleeping tips. Take a look:
1. Preparation is key. "Rather than deal with the effects of 'falling back' on Sunday and the following week or two, you can be proactive in resetting your little one’s body clock," said West. "Since children who are used to going to bed at 7 p.m. will now be going to bed at 6 p.m., try putting them down to nap and to bed later a day or so before Saturday to make the transition easier."
2. Expect some early rising. Be prepared for some temporary early rising. "Be firm about your wake up rules and when everyone can get out of the bed or crib to start their day," she said.
3. Stay on top of the diapers. A dry diaper is key to ensuring your baby sleeps through the night, said West. "Choose a diaper with up to 12 hours of overnight protection."
4. Adjust your schedule. "It may feel strange, but adjusting your schedule to the new clock times on Sunday morning will help everyone transition easier," she said. "Move your meals, naps and bedtimes to sync with the time change. Your baby may need an additional bonus nap to make it until the new later bedtime on Sunday. Though your family may take a few days to completely transition, a gradual change should help to mitigate cranky, tired children."