Sleep Solutions

Daylight saving time is often the worst time of year for those with little ones as it can wreak havoc on babies and toddlers sleep routines...

How to Handle Daylight Saving Time with a Baby

Fi Star-Stone is a broadcaster, mum of two and author of The Baby Bedtime Book – Say Goodnight to Sleepless Nights! a gentle sleep guide that covers sleep issues from newborns right up to pre-teen.

Here she gives her advice on surviving daylight-saving times…

Daylight saving time is often the worst time of year for those with little ones as it can wreak havoc on babies and toddlers sleep routines. By following my gentle sleep tips, hopefully you’ll find the transition to the new hours, a little easier to manage…

Springtime – Spring forward into a happy baby bedtime.

When we pop those clocks forward it means one hour less sleep for you and your little one, too. But don’t panic – you can avoid problems by getting your child ready about a week before the clock change.

My top tip for clock-rockin’ baby-bedtime-happiness is to put your little one to bed 10 to 15 minutes earlier each night for seven nights. This simple tip can really help make the transition smoother and the clock change tick tock along nicely.

If you’re reading this with less than seven nights to prepare – don’t worry, start as soon as you can, even a couple of nights before the clock-change can really help.

With older children, if you are not already using one – use a sleep clock like the Groclock! These clocks are fantastic and really help little ones to know when it is OK to get up out of bed and come to you.

Simply set the Groclock at bedtime with your preferred wake-up time – nothing too unrealistic, while we’d all like a 9.30am lie-in, a 7-8am wake-up is more achievable! Explain to your little one that if they wake early, they must “wait for Ollie the Owl to wake up too”.

If they are wide-awake only half an hour before the clock is due to change into the sunshine, reading books in bed is fine! I encourage this for early-wakers as it gets them into a little routine of waking gently and waiting until the right get-up time.

Autumn time – Fall back into a happy baby bedtime.

For those without little bundles of joy, this means an extra hour of glorious sleep! For us parents – not so lucky. For us it means baby is likely to wake on time – meaning the usual 7am get-up-and-go is now 6am. Ouch.

In the autumn – simply reverse the springtime top tip for a happy baby bedtime! So, starting seven nights before the clock change, put your little one to bed 10 minutes later each night leading up to the clock change.

As mentioned in my springtime tips – with older children, if you are not already using one – use a sleep clock. They’re fantastic and really help them to know when it is OK to get up out of bed and get you.

Finally, the week after clock changes you may find your little one is unsettled. Try not to worry – they’ll soon settle once they get into the swing of the new season’s time zone. By sticking to your usual daily routine, and a happy bedtime routine, you’ll soon have a happy sleeper again!