Baby Care

Your baby’s sleep – Day Light Saving Tips

Baby sleep time

With the change to and from daylight saving each year you can almost hear the cry from mums and dads around New Zealand, “Don’t upset baby’s sleep pattern”. As delightful as the extra sunshine in the evening is for a barbeque it can play havoc with a baby’s sleep routine.

We’ve put together handy tips for surviving the change to Daylight Savings time.

Survival Tips

The change to and from daylight saving affects all of us, but none seems to be felt as much as when baby wakes at 5am instead of the already early enough 6am.

Generally it takes about one week for everyone to adjust to the change of the clocks and here are a few survival tips for getting babies and toddlers back into routine as quickly as possible.

Changing to Summer Time

  • Just as we have put our clocks forwards, so too can we put baby’s clock forward. Over the course of one week put baby to bed 10 mins earlier each day.
    Example – Baby goes to bed at 7pm normally so on day one when the body clock is telling baby to sleep when it’s already 8pm put baby to bed at 7.50pm, next day 7.40pm and so on until at the end of the week we have baby going down at 7pm again.
  • Make sure that baby’s room is darkened and use the room as the place for stories and quiet time before bed. This will help your baby adjust their body clock by “tricking” it into thinking it is already dark.
  • Relish in the thought that you may get an extra hours sleep in the morning.
  • Don’t make a battle out of it with toddlers, give it one week of being out of sorts and then get right back into routine and just follow the clock as usual.
  • Always remember that an overtired baby is harder to settle so the more gradual the change the less disruptive it will be to the body clock.

Changing Back to Standard Time

  • Just as we have put our clocks backwards, so too can we put baby’s clock backward. Over the course of one week put baby to bed 10 mins later each day.
    Example – Baby goes to bed at 7pm normally so on day one when the body clock is telling baby to sleep when it’s only 6pm put baby to bed at 6.10pm, next day 6.20pm and so on until at the end of the week we have baby going down at 7pm again.
  • Go to bed a bit earlier for one week, you will be just a tired as baby.
  • Resign yourself to the fact that for one week you will probably need to get up one hour earlier and use this time to do some of those jobs you never get time for.
  • Don’t make a battle out of it with toddlers, give it one week of being out of sorts and then get right back into routine and just follow the clock as usual.
  • Always remember that an overtired baby is harder to settle so the more gradual the change the less disruptive it will be to the body clock.

For more information see Baby sleep or Baby Care