How is it already that time of year again? Time to adjust the clocks yet again. Even before having children I didn’t love adjusting to daylight savings. But having kids makes the time change that much more daunting. It’s especially tough when you have a baby who is on a great schedule and all you can think about is how things are about to get really messed up. But daylight savings and infant sleep is not something you need to stress about if you have the right tools to help with the adjustment. As a mom of two and an experienced baby sleep coach, I’ve got all the answers you need to help your baby continue to sleep well with the new time change. 

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Why We Have Daylight Savings

Daylight saving time (DST) is implemented to make better use of daylight during longer days. It aims to conserve energy by shifting clocks forward in spring and backward in fall. The idea is to align waking hours with natural daylight, reducing the need for artificial lighting and promoting energy efficiency. I do love natural sunlight and its effects on getting our body’s circadian rhythm where it needs to be.

Daylight savings is believed to contribute to improved mental well-being by providing more daylight in the evening hours. The thought process behind this is that it potentially enhances outdoor activities and reduces reliance on electricity for lighting and heating. And while this is great for adults, since we generally go to bed long after the sun goes down, it doesn’t provide these same positive effects for our little ones. 

More Sunlight at Bedtime in the Spring & Summer

During daylight saving time, the shifting clocks can confuse a baby’s internal clock, leading to challenges in maintaining a consistent sleep schedule. The altered exposure to natural light can affect the production of melatonin, making it harder for infants to settle into their regular sleep patterns.

In the spring, daylight saving time ushers in longer days and increased sunlight, which can significantly impact a baby’s bedtime routine. The extended daylight hours, often stretching into the early evening, create a new challenge. Because ideally, babies should be heading to bed between the hours of 6:30 to 8:00 pm. But the lingering sunlight can interfere with the natural cues that signal the onset of nighttime.

The exposure to bright evening light can disrupt the production of melatonin, the hormone responsible for regulating sleep-wake cycles. The extended daylight during the springtime can make it more difficult for babies to settle down and transition into sleep mode.

You may begin to notice increased restlessness or resistance to bedtime. The abundance of natural light signals to your baby’s body that it’s not yet time to sleep. This delay in the bedtime routine can, in turn, affect the overall duration and quality of your baby’s sleep.

To mitigate the impact of increased evening sunlight on infant sleep, I recommend using blackout window covers or curtains to create a dark and calming sleep environment. Additionally, incorporating soothing pre-bedtime activities and dimming the lights gradually can help signal to your baby that it’s time to wind down.

Effects of Daylight Savings and Infant Sleep

The transition associated with daylight saving time can disrupt a baby’s sleep routine. And this poses challenges for us as parents in maintaining our infant’s well-established sleep patterns. The abrupt shift in time can lead to confusion for babies. This is because babies are highly attuned to their circadian rhythms. Daylight savings and infant sleep often clash as babies may struggle to adjust to the sudden change in their sleep-wake cycles.

Infants thrive on consistency, and adjusting to daylight savings can upset the delicate balance of their established routines. The altered sunlight patterns may make it challenging for us as parents to gauge the optimal times for naps and bedtime, causing potential sleep disturbances. Babies might experience difficulty settling down at their usual bedtime, leading to increased fussiness and nighttime awakenings. The impact of daylight savings on infant sleep can linger for several days as babies adapt to the new schedule. And this can cause a temporary disruption in their overall sleep quality.

Slowly Adjusting to Daylight Savings

A gradual approach to shifting a baby’s schedule in preparation for daylight savings typically works better results than an abrupt change. Daylight savings and infant sleep are intricately linked to the body’s internal clock, and sudden alterations can disrupt the delicate balance of circadian rhythms.

Babies thrive on routine and familiarity, making a gradual 

Is swaddling a newborn necessary

adjustment more conducive to their well-being. The gradual shift eases the process of adjusting to daylight savings, allowing the baby’s internal clock to naturally synchronize with the new schedule. This method reduces the likelihood of sleep disturbances. It also promotes a smoother transition for both parents and infants during the time change.

Abruptly transitioning to the new time can be jarring for babies, leading to resistance and potential sleep disruptions. The gradual approach respects the baby’s natural rhythm, providing a gentler adaptation to the changes associated with daylight savings and infant sleep patterns. By incrementally moving naptimes and bedtime, you can create a more supportive environment for your baby to adjust to the new schedule.

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Slowly Adjusting to Daylight Savings

If you’re reading this blog before Daylight savings, then good for you! You’re getting prepared. And that’s great because the best way to help your baby adjust to the time change is to help them by doing it gradually. Here’s my recommendation on how to do it.

Beginning on Thursday, make incremental changes of 15 minutes earlier for naps and bedtime each day. This method minimizes disruptions associated with daylight savings and infant sleep patterns, allowing a gentle adaptation to the upcoming time change.

Here’s a specific example for a baby accustomed to one nap at 12:00 pm and a bedtime of 7:00 pm:

Thursday

  • Naptime: 11:45 am
  • Bedtime: 6:45 pm

Friday

  • Naptime: 11:30 am
  • Bedtime: 6:30 pm

Saturday

  • Naptime: 11:15 am
  • Bedtime: 6:15 pm

Sunday (Daylight Saving Time):

  • Adjusted Naptime: 12:00 pm (new time)
  • Adjusted Bedtime: 7:00 pm (new time)

Or if you’re really planning ahead, you can even plan on starting your adjustments on Tuesday. And begin by adjusting your baby’s schedule back 10 minutes everyday (instead of 15 minutes like you would on Thursday).

By using this gradual approach, you’ll be starting the day on Sunday with the new time!

Consistency is key in this process of adjusting to daylight savings. Maintain familiar bedtime routines to signal the approaching sleep period and provide comfort. By gradually shifting the baby’s schedule over the four days leading up to Sunday, parents can mitigate potential disruptions, fostering a more seamless transition for both parent and infant during this period of time change.

Daylight Savings & Naps

Navigating naps during daylight savings requires a delicate balance of flexibility and structure. Daylight savings and infant sleep are closely intertwined, which is why we need to adapt our baby’s nap routine with consideration for the time change. Flexibility is key as your baby adjusts to daylight savings. Just remember that their little internal clock may need time to synchronize with the new schedule.

Maintaining a structured daytime routine is one of the most important things you can do when making adjustments. You can gradually shift nap times by 15 minutes earlier each day leading up to the time change.

I also recommend paying close attention to tired cues from your baby and be responsive to their individual needs. 

Is swaddling a newborn necessary

During daylight savings, infants may need extra comfort or reassurance as they adapt to the changes.

If Your Baby Isn’t Sleeping Well After Daylight Savings 

Now you know how to help adjust your baby to the new time! I will say that it does take a few days to really get adjusted to a new schedule. So even if you are doing the gradual approach, your baby may still be taking a little longer to fall asleep at bedtime or for their naps next week. And that’s ok. It’s just all part of the adjustment. You can still be there to offer them reassurance and support if they need it. 

I’m here to guide you every step of the way with personalized and effective sleep plans. As a mom of two and an experienced baby sleep coach, I understand the unique challenges parents face when it comes to their little one’s sleep habits. That’s why I offer customized sleep plans tailored to meet the specific needs of your baby.

The foundation of my approach lies in recognizing that every baby is unique, and there’s no one-size-fits-all solution. Through in-depth consultations and careful assessment of your baby’s sleep patterns, temperament, and routine, I create a customized sleep plan that aligns with your parenting style. This personalized approach ensures that the strategies employed resonate with your baby’s individual preferences and characteristics.

My goal is to empower you with the tools and knowledge needed to foster healthy sleep habits in your baby. The sleep plans I provide not only address current sleep challenges but also equip you with the skills to handle potential hurdles that may arise. From establishing a soothing bedtime routine to managing night wakings and naps, the customized sleep plans are comprehensive and adaptable, ensuring long-term success in promoting restful and consi

 If you find yourself struggling with this time change, schedule a free Discovery Call with me. Let’s work together to create a plan that fits seamlessly into your family’s life. 

About the Author

I’m Kaley Medina, the proud founder of Live Love Sleep®. I live in Texas with my husband and high school sweetheart, Zeke, along with our two wonderful children, Evalyn and Leo, and our furry companion, Louie.
My journey into the world of sleep consultancy began with the sleep struggles of my own daughter, Evalyn. From her early days, she proved to be a challenging sleeper, staying awake for waaaaaay too long and causing many sleepless nights. I tried everything I could think of, from feeding her to sleep to bouncing on a yoga ball until my legs ached to the delicate process of transitioning her to her crib without waking her. I even resorted to late-night vacuuming while wearing her in a baby carrier….needless to say, none of it work.

The constant sleep deprivation left me frazzled and unable to enjoy precious moments with my family. Desperate for a solution, I ventured into the world of sleep training when Evalyn turned six months. To my surprise,

gentler methods yielded incredible results, transforming our lives. Fueled by this success, I became a Certified Sleep Consultant and founded Live Love Sleep®. As your Pediatric Sleep Consultant, I understand that a child’s sleep is influenced by various factors, including diet, sleep environment, routines, schedules, developmental milestones, and so much more.

I craft personalized sleep plans that consider the bigger picture to solve your child’s sleep challenges comprehensively. What sets my services apart is the ongoing support I provide, ensuring your family reaches its sleep goals within weeks.

A former client described the experience as “utterly LIFE CHANGING.” I’m committed to helping parents like you and your child get the rest you need and deserve. Let’s work together to achieve better sleep and a happier, healthier family life.