Autumn Baby Sleep Tips
As summer turns the corner and fall comes around, you may notice your baby’s sleep schedule is changing. Thanks to something called circadian rhythm, or our internal body clock, it’s normal for babies and adults alike to sleep more in the fall. This is because our internal clock mimics that of the sun. Shorter days tend to cause shorter wake-windows. This can be amazing for tired parents, until it begins a snowball effect that ends with shorter nap times and mixed up schedules. Read on as we break down what changes you can expect to see this fall in your baby’s sleep schedule and what you can do to make any seasonal sleep transitions as smooth as possible.
How do the seasons affect baby sleep?
Your baby’s sleep is affected by more than just the sun and their circadian rhythm. As seasons change, there are other factors that may contribute to a change in your baby’s sleep schedules.
- Temperature: Any extreme temperatures, whether hot or cold, can cause disruptions to your baby’s peaceful slumber. Depending on your geographical location, Fall can come with a cool Autumn breeze that wakes your baby as it howls through the window, or it can consistent of some lingering sweat-filled nights that cause your little one to toss and turn.
- Allergies: Changes in seasons mean changes in allergens that are wisping around in the wind. If your baby suffers from seasonal allergies, it can definitely affect their sleep.
- Time outdoors: This one is two fold. On one hand, spending time outside during the day helps your baby’s circadian rhythm align with whenever the sun clocks in and out. On the other hand, your little one is more likely to wear themselves out and sleep soundly if they have been stimulated both physically and mentally, which is sometimes easier to accomplish outdoors.
Should you adjust your baby's sleep schedule with fall?
Being a parent comes with an inherent flexibility that must be maintained in order to stay sane. You can definitely go with the flow and hope for the best as your little one’s sleep schedule wreaks havoc on yours. Alternatively, you can adjust their sleep schedule to give them (and you) a better chance at maintaining a semblance of normalcy through seasonal sleep changes.
How do I adjust my child's bedtime during autumn?
Adjusting your child’s bedtime during Autumn may not be as complicated as it sounds. Here are some tips to make through any seasonal sleep adjustments gracefully.
- Prepare for the time change: A week or two before the clocks “fall back” you can gradually begin moving bedtime 10-15 minutes earlier every couple of days to help their regular bedtime align with that same time once the clock has changed.
- Watch for sleep cues: The last thing you want is an overtired baby. This is where that flexibility comes in - putting your baby to sleep when you begin to nice those cute little yawns and eye rubs can help them to fall asleep faster and avoid a bedtime battle.
- Consistent bedtime routine: Speaking of sleep cues, the things you do regularly before bed such as brushing teeth, reading a book, or putting on your baby’s Dreamland Gently Weighted Sleep Sack can all act as signals to your baby that it is time to go to bed. In turn these signals can help with seasonal adjustments to their actual bedtime.
- Limit screen time: If your baby is like many others, they may love that overall wearing youtuber that sings those adorable songs for our littles, but Ms. Rachel would agree, screen time should be limited before bedtime.
- Play outside: Perhaps the most effective way to help your baby adjust to Autumn bedtime struggles is to help their internal clock align with tons of outdoor play - weather permitting, of course.
- Avoid a new bedtime: It may be tempting to keep your baby up late in an attempt to get that extra hour of sleep, but adjusting bedtime drastically and all at once may bite you in the, well, you know.
How to make the baby sleep well in the fall:
In order for your baby to sleep well in the Fall, they’ll need a cozy sleep space. Whether they have their own room, or a corner of your room has become a dedicated nursery, there are some things that can help make their space sleep-worthy.
- Blackout curtains
- Dim nightlight
- Sound machine
- Regulated temperature between 68-72 degrees Fahrenheit
Having a space that is conducive to good sleep can make all the difference in the world in your baby’s bedtime, no matter what season it is.
Does weather affect babies' sleep?
Do you ever feel groggy on gloomy days? Well, believe it or not, babies can too. The weather can absolutely affect babies’ sleep, even when temperatures inside are regulated. This mostly has to do with our - here it is again - circadian rhythm. When the sun is hiding, that tells our bodies (babies included) that it is time to rest and sleep.
What can you expect with changing sleep schedules for autumn?
As sleep schedules change for autumn, you can expect some other changes to follow. It may take some time for your baby to adjust to their new sleep patterns, but their sleep-wake windows should remain mostly unchanged. If your baby starts to sleep for longer stretches at night due to seasonal changes, their naptime may suffer as they will not need as much sleep during the day to fill their sleep bank. This can lead to an overtired little one before bedtime rolls around, which causes even more chaos. Encourage your baby to keep their nap and bedtime windows fairly consistent throughout any transitions into Autumn.
Sleep is just as crucial for your baby’s health and development, as it is to us in order to be the best parents we can be. When your baby sleeps well, so do you. Get the best night sleep for you and your baby with Dreamland Sleep Solutions. Whatever season it is, we’ve got you covered.