When daylight savings ends, you’ll be moving the clock back by one hour. If you change nothing about your baby’s routine, bedtime would become an hour earlier (hooray!) but they would also wake an hour earlier. So for those already dealing with early wakes, it can be a terrifying thought!
Ps. If you are dealing with early morning wakes already go grab our Early Rising Guide here.
So here’s a plan to help your baby adjust to the time difference. We will want to move their circadian clock (body clock) forward by an hour. But to avoid a feeling of jet lag, and extreme overtiredness, it’s best to set aside a week to make the change. You can do this before or after daylight savings ends.
Our circadian sleep and wake patterns are set by three things - light, food/milk feeds, and social interaction, so you won’t be moving just their naps and bedtime, you’ll also need to move their entire routine including feeds, active social time, and exposure to light.
Haven’t implemented a routine yet? Check out our age-appropriate routines from newborn to 3 years.
If you’re on a typical 7-7 routine, this is how you’d adjust it:
- Day 1 - Monday aiming for 7:15am - 7:15pm routine
Nap and feeding times shift 15 minutes later, including their first morning feed. Bedtime will also be 15 minutes later than usual.
- Day 2 - Tuesday repeat aiming for 7:15am - 7:15pm routine
- Day 3 - Wednesday aiming for 7:30am - 7:30pm routine
Nap and feeding times will be now 30 minutes later, including their first morning feed. Bedtime will also be 30 minutes later than usual.
- Day 4 - Thursday repeat aiming for 7:30am - 7:30pm routine
- Day 5 - Friday aiming for 7:45am - 7:45pm routine
Nap and feeding times are now 45 minutes later than usual, including their first morning feed. Bedtime will also be 45 minutes later than usual.
- Day 6 - Saturday repeat aiming for 7:45am - 7:45pm routine
- Day 7 - Sunday clocks have changed! Wake your child at 7am (which is yesterday’s 8am)
Tip: when trying to move your baby’s schedule forward the key will be to shift their exposure to sunlight.
So it's a great idea to actually head outside after dinner/before your bedtime routine, and allow it to be brighter than usual in your home all the way until it’s time for sleep.
You’ll also want their room to be pitch black in the mornings to avoid them continuing to wake at the old time.