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Daylight Saving Sleep Tips for Babies

updated March 4, 2024 – Yes, it’s just an hour. But when you’re the parent of a newborn, infant or baby twins, it’s a crucial hour! In 2024, we spring forward on March 10 at 2am, so while we lose an hour, babies who used to wake up at 5am now wake up at 6am (yay?)This post, Daylight Saving Sleep Tips for Babies contains step by step infant sleep help to help ease the transition.

Spring, the Beginning of Daylight Saving Time

Daylight Saving time comes every Spring. So if you have an early rising baby on Saturday the early wake time will be solved Sunday morning when you “spring forward”!

Tips to help ease that lost hour for your newborn and baby and allow for smooth bedtimes any time of the year.

  1. Keep your baby’s bedtime routine consistent. It’s never too early to start with a routine such as “bath, breast/bottle, books and bed.” gets a relaxing bath, final feed of the night and then quiet time to digest and bond with you. Plenty of time to digest and work out gas, as well as a predictable routine pave the way for comfortable sleep. These are also the stepping stones for babies to eventually sleep through the night. 
  2. Leave baby alone if s/he seems to be napping “too long.” Don’t worry, baby is making up for the lost hour from springing forward. While naps/bedtime may be a little off this week, sleep is what’s need to help baby grow and develop. 
  3. Don’t forget black-out curtains! It can be hard for little ones to wind down when it’s still bright and sunny outside. Room darkening curtains or shades can help baby AND you! Our doulas and night nannies like these for kids rooms.
Daylight Saving Sleep Tips for Babies

Don’t forget about Your Own Sleep

While you’re helping your baby to sleep better with gradual adjustments, you can start adjusting your own bedtime and wake time. Switch full nights of sleep with your partner and try to wake up 15 minutes earlier each day until you reach your desired schedule.

The postpartum time is especially difficult on new mothers and fathers as sleep deprivation weakens the immune system. Additionally brain fog, aka “mommy brain” can contribute to poor decision making with daily tasks.

It’s true that there are more car accidents after time adjustments but there are other impacts to adult sleep too. The change in time can disrupt sleep patterns leading to drowsiness, reduced alertness, and impaired cognitive functioning. If you’re driving, take extra care to be sure you’re alert and be aware of others’ behavior on the road as well.

Daylight Saving Sleep Tips for Babies – Autumn, the end of Daylight Saving Time

For parents of little ones, life revolves around sleep, and nothing wreaks havoc on sleep like Daylight Savings. There’s a BIG difference between waking up at 6am and 5am!

If you’d like to keep baby on schedule, it’s important to note that your baby loves routine and gradual change. Little ones don’t respond well to a “cold turkey” approach. One way we can help babies through Daylight Savings, is by gradually falling back an hour at bedtime. As night nanny Sonia says, don’t worry if you can’t start exactly 10 days before Daylight Savings ends. Any success you have in pushing up baby’s bedtime will only help when it’s time to turn the clocks back.

For a baby that typically goes to bed at 7p.m., you might try this about 10 – 14 days in advance of Daylight Savings:

  • Saturday/Sunday/Monday: Lay baby in the crib for bedtime at 7:10- 7:20
  • Tuesday/Wednesday/Thursday: Bedtime at 7:20- 7:30
  • Friday/Saturday: Try to push bedtime to 7:40- 7:50
  • Sunday:  8 p.m. bedtime, which will actually be 7:00 on the day of Daylight Savings!
Daylight Saving Sleep Tips for Babies 2023

Of course these best laid plans might not work. Babies are pretty notorious for *not* reading blogs like this! If your baby wakes up early for a few days after daylight savings, that’s perfectly normal. But if you’re a parent who really wants to keep baby on a schedule, the gradual approach may help.

Daylight Saving Sleep Tips for Babies 2023 – And Now the Caveats

Of course as we say above, infant sleep plans are rarely perfect. If following the baby sleep schedule feels forced, it’s okay to just….stop.

Newborns in particular are on their own schedule and that is perfectly normal. They probably won’t be able to stay up longer or sleep longer, as their body clocks decide when to eat and wake up. On demand feeding of newborns and infants is recommended and actually helps them get into a routine as they grow and can start taking in larger amounts.

If you are still in the postpartum phase with baby and want to build up milk supply, skin to skin contact and frequent nursing will help. It’s not recommended to hold-off your newborn from sleep or feeding in the early days of nursing. (Or bottle feeding for that matter!) And if none of this works, that’s normal too! Daylight Saving time is a parenting reality that goes in the this too shall pass category.

Newborn and infant twins sleep tips during the time change
Daylight Savings Sleep Tips for Babies