Finally! It's summer! That means planned disruptions that, frankly, we are here for it! Adventures to the beach and ice cream trucks define summer for us at Lovebug. Jenica remembers eating peaches and corn on the cob with sparklers in her hands. What do you remember from your childhood?
Now that we've grown into adults, we realize the consequences of ice cream all over your face and the moodiness that comes with staying up too late. But you know what? We gladly accept these consequences in exchange for the joy of our children's faces. Lovebug wants to remind you that it's possible to minimize sleep disruptions and keep your child in high spirits.
Remember that babies love schedules. They thrive on them. And with summer finally here, the only sure thing is that the schedule will go out the window at one point or another. Assuming your goal is to keep the entire family in a well-rested state while still having some fun this summer, we want to remind you that you have options for how to get to that goal.
Option A - Plan for the disruption and get back on track within 24 hours.
Option B - Don't plan for the disruption and get back on track within 48 hours.
Let's cover each of these in detail.
Option A - The Planner
Option A works best when you know something is coming. For example, if you have a weekend getaway at the grandparents or a pool party in the middle of nap time. You see the disruption is coming, so you can plan. Your goal is to get your baby into a sleep surplus state. You can get them to a sleep surplus state by offering them an early bedtime of 30 minutes for two days before your big event. The early bedtime will give them a bit more sleep than they would typically get, so they have a sleep surplus to boost them while they get less sleep at the big event.
In the Lovebug app, we measure the sleep surplus with our four sleep zones. When your child is in the Red or Yellow Zone, they are craving a bit more sleep. Your baby will get into these zones every once and a while. It's normal, and they probably will during the event! Other times, your baby will be in the Green or Platinum Zones, where they have a sleep surplus and a brain boost. App users should aim to get to Platinum or Green before their event. Once they are there, bouncing back from a yellow zone will be very quick. The App will be your guide to get there.
Option B - Go-with-the-Flow
Sometimes, you can't plan for an event in advance. Say you get a last-minute opportunity to go to the park. Then, you'll miss a nap and choose the consequences of getting back on track over the next day or two.
After your all-dayer, your goal will be to get back on track with your schedule. On the day of the disruption, you may not make the nap, and that's ok. You should still offer your baby naps at their typical times. That's right! If you don't use your nap, then you lose it. Instead, go for a 45-minute early bedtime. The next day, offer your naps at the same times as usual. We are doing this so that your baby doesn't get off their schedule and then starts waking in the middle of the night or having early morning wakes.
This option is easiest with the Lovebug app. You will log your sleep activities, and the Lovebug dynamic schedule will update to get back on track. The Lovebug schedule watches for disruptions and updates hourly to keep your child in a well-rested state. It will suggest early bedtimes for missed naps and adjust daily to be more personalized to your child.
Either way, it's going to be okay.
Part of the fun of summer is getting into a bit of trouble. If you find yourself struggling after a summer getaway, please shoot us a note or talk with us at our weekly Instagram Lives. We'd love to chat with you.