Spring Forward with Ease: Navigating Daylight Saving Time for a Seamless Sleep Transition
Daylight Saving Time – a challenging period for every parent, even those with the best sleepers!
Brace yourself as the clock moves forward by an hour this weekend, translating to a lost hour of precious sleep. The 7pm bedtime magically becomes 8pm, and the 7am wake-up turns into 8am – a dreamy scenario unless you juggle work, kindergarten, school, and life commitments!
The silver lining? Good news for parents with early-rising babies or toddlers – that 5am wake-up magically becomes 6am on Monday, problem solved! If you fall into this category, ignore the charts below; no adjustments needed for Daylight Saving Time.
Whether you're a proactive planner or a reactive adjuster, there are steps you can take to help your babies and the whole family adapt. The "action plan" below provides guidance based on a 7am-7pm day. If your schedule is 6am-7pm, 6am-6pm, or 6.30am-7pm, the same rules apply – adjusting by 15 minutes every 2-3 days is the easiest way to reset your body clock for this time change.
Move naps backwards by 15 minutes every day or 2 until they have moved an hour backwards over a week.
If you are proactive –
|Monday||Wake up 15 minutes earlier so 6.45am not 7am||Offer feeds and naps 15mins earlier than usual||Bed time 6.45pm instead of 7pm|
|Tuesday||Same as Monday||Offer naps and feeds 15 minutes earlier than usual||Same as Monday|
|Wednesday||Wake up at 6.30am||Offer feeds and naps 30 minutes earlier than usual||Bed time 6.30pm|
|Thursday||Same as Wednesday||Offer naps and feeds 30 minutes earlier than usual||Same as Wednesday|
|Friday||Wake up at 6.15am||Offer naps and feeds 45 minutes earlier than usual||Bed time 6.15pm|
|Saturday||Same as Friday||Offer naps and feed 45 minutes earlier than usual||Same as Friday|
|Sunday||7am wake up! (old 6am)||Nap and feed times back to normal times on new clock time!||7pm bed time again (6pm old time)|
If you are reactive
|Monday||Wake up 15 minutes earlier so 7.45am new time||Offer naps and feeds 15 minutes earlier||Bed time 7.45pm instead of 8pm|
|Tuesday||Same as Monday||Offer naps and feeds 15 minutes earlier||Same as Monday|
|Wednesday||wake up time 7.30am||Offer naps and feeds 30 minutes earlier||Bed time 7.30pm|
|Thursday||Same as Wednesday||Offer naps and feed 30 minutes earlier||Same as Wednesday|
|Friday||wake up at to 7.15am||Offer naps and feeds 45 minutes earlier||Bed time 7.15pm|
|Saturday||Same as Friday||Offer naps and feed 45 minutes earlier||Same as Friday|
|Sunday||7am wake up!||Nap and feed times have been pushed forward an hour||7pm bed time|
Babies daily biological clocks or rhythms are regulated by when they feed, sleep and when they are exposed to light and darkness, so by moving their exposure to these things by 15 mins we help them to gradually adjust their clocks.
Also make sure that with these lighter evenings and mornings their rooms are super dark to encourage better sleep. Check out www.sleepytot.co.nz for a great range of black out solutions or sleep trainer clocks for your toddlers.
Emma is the owner and founder of Baby Sleep Consultant, she is a certified infant and child sleep consultant, Happiest Baby on the Block educator, has a Bachelor of Science, and Diploma in Education.
Emma is a mother to 3 children, and loves writing when she isn't working with tired clients and cheering on her team helping thousands of mums just like you.
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