With a little preparation and planning, the start or finish of Daylight Saving doesn’t have to affect your baby’s sleep or cause havoc with their little body clocks.
While newborns won’t really notice the difference, there are some simple things you can do to help prepare your baby (or toddler) in the lead up to the clock being wound forward or back.
1. Gradually reset their body clock.
Start shifting bubs bedtime and wake-up time by 15 minutes every couple of days in the week prior to the clock change. That way, when Daylight Saving starts or ends, their bedtime is already at the “new” time and they should be waking up in the morning at the appropriate time as well.
Leading up to Daylight Saving beginning (when clocks spring forward): If your baby's bedtime is usually 7pm, on the Monday before clocks change, put bub down at 6:45pm, on Wednesday 6:30pm, on Friday 6:15pm, then Sunday they will go down at the ‘new’ 7pm.
Leading up to Daylight Saving ending (when clocks fall backwards): If bubs bedtime is usually 7pm, on the Monday before you will put them down at 7:15pm, Wednesday 7:30pm, Friday 7:45pm, then Sunday they will go down at the ‘new’ 7pm.
2. Keep their sleep space dark.
Falling asleep for the night when it’s still light outside and staying asleep when the sun rises early can be hard. Keeping your little one’s room as dark as possible, to replicate their usual night-time conditions will help them adjust. Try using blackout blinds or curtains to block the light coming through.
3. Stay Consistent.
Apart from the slight adjustments you make to their bedtime, stay consistent with bubs daytime rhythm, sleep schedule and the settling techniques you use.