Slow and steady
Ease into the change by modifying baby’s schedule gradually. “Adjust the morning and afternoon naps by 30 minutes to begin with, and add another 30 minutes by the third day,” suggests Alysa Dobson, a certified child sleep consultant with SleepWell Baby. “By the end of the week, your little one should easily switch over to the new schedule.”
“Sleep is regulated by our circadian rhythm (our body’s internal clock), and that clock is controlled by light and darkness,” explains Dobson. Having lights on in the morning when it’s time to wake up and closing the blinds to darken the nursery when it’s time to sleep will help baby acclimate.
Don’t underestimate the importance of maintaining a familiar schedule. “Children thrive when parents provide a structured environment, so keeping your everyday routines consistent will help,” Dobson notes. “Structure your day with regular playtimes, mealtimes and presleep routines—all per the new time.”