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Adjusting your baby to daylight savings

The Sleep Store

Newborn babies are usually not effected by the start or finish of Daylight Saving. However older babies and toddlers can be effected for a week or two and you may have an overtired little one on your hands as a result.

The benefit of routine:
Transition at the start and finish of daylight saving is far easier if your baby is in a routine. You can make gradual changes to their routine, and the transition will be much easier.

If your baby or toddler isn’t in a routine, there is still time to get organized. At the very least have a consistent bedtime for the next few days, so you can follow the advice below.

If you would like to establish your baby or toddler in a routine before the start of Daylight Savings, contact us for information. We recommend the routines from Save Our Sleep, by Tizzie Hall, which also has a section on adjusting to Daylight Savings.

Preparation is the key!
Rather than deal with the effects of daylight savings on Sunday and the following week or two, you can be proactive in resetting your little one’s body clock. See either the Start or End of Daylight Daving, below:

Be consistent:
While your little one is getting used to the new time, stick to your usual bedtime rules and behaviours. For example if your toddler usually can go to sleep by himself, avoid lying down with him or letting him sleep in your bed. A week of different bedtime routine while adjusting to Daylight Saving could be long enough to build a new habit, which you then need to deal with. 

The start of Daylight Saving Time

Assuming you have a 7pm bedtime: 

 Day Routine during the day Bedtime
 Wednesday Usual sleep & feed times   7.00pm
 Thursday Sleep & feed times 15 mins earlier, eg first feed at 6.45am not 7am. 6.45pm 
 Friday Sleep & feed times 30 mins earlier, eg first feed at 6.30am not 7am. 6.30pm
 Saturday Sleep & feed times 45 mins earlier, eg first feed at 6.15am not 7am. 6.15pm

Wake your child at 7am (new time), then back to your usual routine for sleeps & feeds

7.00pm (new time)
  • Change your clocks on Saturday evening before you go to bed.
  • Remember to check your smoke alarms at the same time.


After the start of Daylight Saving Time:
If you are reading this after the start of daylight saving, you can still help your little one reset their body clock.

If their usual bedtime is 7pm, they will now actually be going to bed at 8pm. If your child is struggling to go to sleep at 7pm, put them to bed tonight at 7.45pm. Tomorrow night put them to bed at 7.30pm, and the following night at 7.15pm. From then on they should have adjusted to bedtime at the new daylight savings 7pm.

Going to bed when it’s light
This can be a problem with toddlers and older children, who may argue that it’s still light outside, and therefore not bedtime. The lighter evenings may also temporarily affect some babies if they are sensitive to sleeping in the light.

You may want to attach an extra layer to your curtains or stick something over their windows for a week or so, until their body clock adjusts and they feel like going to bed at the new time. One of our customers recommends black corflute as the best for keeping out unwanted light (try your local sign-writer for off-cuts).

Adjusting to the end of Daylight Saving Time

While most of us love the start of daylight savings, the end of daylight saving can seem depressing! By moving the clocks back an hour, all of a sudden seems like summer is nearly finished for another year, boo hoo.

The other main downside to the clock’s going back is another interference to your children's sleep and bedtime. Although adults and older children can usually quickly adapt to a new wake up and sleep time, especially if they are already a little sleep deprived, it can be more difficult for younger children.

After moving the clocks back an hour, children who were used to going to bed 7pm are likely to be ready to go to bed at 6 pm. While that may be okay, they may then be likely to wake up at 6am – which may not be OK!!

So again, be proactive and prepare for the clocks going back. This should minimise the interference to your baby's sleep and help them adjust much quicker.

Assuming a 7pm bedtime:

Day Routine during the day Bedtime
 Wednesday Usual sleep & feed times   7.00pm
 Thursday Sleep & feed times 15 mins later, (eg first feed at 7.15am not 7am). 7.15pm

Sleep & feed times 30 mins later (eg first feed at 7.30am not 7am).

 Saturday Sleep& feed times 45 mins later (eg first feed at 7.45am not 7am). 7.45pm

Wake your child at 7am (new time), then your usual routine times for feeds & sleeps.

7.00pm (new time)



  • If your baby or toddler wants to sleep in a bit later (after you start adjusting their bedtime, then allow this.
  • Try and adjust the routine from the first feed of the day by 15 mins each day. if your baby can't last first thing in the morning, just try to make the routine adjustments as the day goes on.


  • Put your clock back on Saturday night before you go to bed. Check your smoke alarms at the same times.

For further information contact the Sleep Store