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Daylight Savings Baby Sleep

Updated: Apr 6

Daylight savings time can disrupt the sleep schedule of both adults and children, but with proper preparation and strategies, the transition can go as smooth as possible, especially for new parents.


What is Daylight Savings?

daylight savings baby sleep

Daylight savings is the practice of setting the clocks forward by one hour during the warmer months to extend evening daylight. This is typically done in the spring and then it gets reversed in the fall. The main purpose of daylight savings is to make better use of daylight during the longer days of the year, reducing the need for artificial lighting in the evenings and potentially saving energy. In the fall, when daylight saving time ends, the clocks are set back by one hour, resulting in an extra hour of sleep and shorter days with earlier sunsets. In the spring, when daylight saving time begins, the clocks are set forward by one hour, leading to longer evenings with more daylight.


How Does Fall Daylight Savings Impact Children's Bedtimes?

The fall daylight saving time, when the clocks are set back by one hour, can impact children's bedtimes by potentially disrupting their sleep schedules. Children may have difficulty adjusting to the time change, leading to earlier wake-up times or difficulty falling asleep at their usual bedtime. It is important for parents to help children gradually adjust to the time change by gradually shifting their bedtime and wake-up times in the days leading up to the change. Creating a consistent bedtime routine and ensuring a dark, quiet sleep environment can also help children adjust to the time change more smoothly.


When fall daylight saving time begins and the clocks are set forward by one hour, if your child typically goes to bed around 7:30pm, it will effectively become 6:30pm. It's best to gradually adjust your child's bedtime for approximately one week leading up to the time change to help them transition smoothly to the new schedule. In the case of fall daylight savings, this means you would gradually keep your child up a little bit past their bedtime leading up to fall daylight savings.


How Does Spring Daylight Savings Impact Children's Bedtimes?

The spring daylight saving time, when the clocks are set forward by one hour, can also impact children's bedtimes by potentially disrupting their sleep schedules. Children may have difficulty adjusting to the time change, leading to later bedtimes and difficulty falling asleep at their usual time. It is important for parents to help children gradually adjust to the time change by gradually shifting their bedtime and wake-up times in the days leading up to the change. Creating a consistent bedtime routine and ensuring a dark, quiet sleep environment can also help children adjust to the time change more smoothly.


When spring daylight saving time begins and the clocks are set forward by one hour, if your child typically goes to bed around 7:30pm, it will effectively become 8:30pm. It's best to gradually adjust your child's bedtime for approximately one week leading up to the time change to help them transition smoothly to the new schedule. In the case of spring daylight savings, this means you would gradually put your child to bed a little bit earlier in the week leading up to spring daylight savings.

Baby Daylight Savings

Here are some additional helpful tips to prepare for daylight savings ahead of time and help the transition go smoothly:


  • Gradually adjust the bedtime: About a week before the time change, start shifting your child's bedtime by 15 minutes each night (15-minutes later for Fall Back and 15-minutes earlier for Spring Forward). This gradual adjustment can help them adapt to the new schedule more easily.

  • Maintain a consistent routine: Stick to your child's regular bedtime routine to signal that it's time to wind down and prepare for sleep. Consistency is key in helping them feel secure and comfortable during the transition.

  • Use natural light exposure: Natural light plays a crucial role in regulating our internal body clock. Expose your child to natural light in the morning to help them wake up and establish a healthy sleep-wake cycle.

  • Create a sleep-friendly environment: Ensure that your child's sleep environment is conducive to restful sleep. Keep the room dark with blackout curtains, quiet with a sound machine if desired, and at a comfortable humidity and temperature to promote quality sleep.

  • Be patient and flexible: Understand that it may take some time for your child to adjust to the new schedule. Be patient and flexible with their sleep patterns, and offer comfort and reassurance as needed. After the time change, you can expect some disruptions in your child's sleep patterns. They may have difficulty falling asleep or waking up earlier than usual.

Daylight Savings Baby Sleep

Here's what you might expect from a baby or child after the time changes:


  • Short-term sleep disturbances: Your child may experience temporary sleep disturbances, such as difficulty falling asleep or waking up earlier than usual. These disruptions should resolve within a few days as they adjust to the new schedule.

  • Increased tiredness or irritability: Changes in sleep patterns can lead to increased tiredness or irritability in children. Be understanding and provide extra comfort and support during this transition period.

  • Regression in sleep habits: Some children may experience a temporary regression in their sleep habits, such as waking up more frequently during the night. Stick to your established bedtime routine and offer reassurance to help them feel secure. By following these tips and being patient with your child's adjustment to the daylight savings time change, you can help them transition smoothly and maintain healthy sleep habits. Remember that every child is different, so it's essential to tailor your approach to daylight savings baby sleep to their individual needs and preferences. If you want to learn more about baby sleep, check out our post Sleep Training for Babies.

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