Adjusting to daylight savings time - Spring has arrived!
I love this time of year. The weather gently changes and becomes warmer. I always embrace daylight savings as it’s the beginning of longer, lighter evenings and more time spent outside. But the onset of daylight savings can disrupt a baby’s body clock. Luckily, though, there are some adjustments you can make ahead of time to ensure a smooth transition for everyone.
On Sunday, 3 October at 2.00 am our clocks will move forward by 1 hour. This will affect many states in Australia. I find that this is the better of the two daylight saving time adjustments because if you happen to have early risers (yikes) you may get a reprieve for a couple of days where they actually sleep in! Essentially, there are two ways to approach a time adjustment for this time of year.
Slow adjustment before
Eight days ahead of our daylight saving change you slowly start to adjust their wakeup times and bedtime. Super easy. Shift your baby or child's schedule earlier by 15 minutes every two days.
For the first two days wake them up 15 minutes earlier than their normal wake up time (i.e. 6.45am instead of 7.00am). Put them down for naps 15 minutes earlier than their normal nap time (i.e. 12.15pm instead of 12.30pm). Wake them 15 minutes earlier than they would normally wake up from a nap (i.e.12.15pm instead of 2.30pm)
Put them to bed 15 minutes earlier than when they would normally go to bed (i.e. 6.45pm instead of 7.00pm). Then the next two days you will shift it earlier again by another 15 minutes.
So across the eight days you will be at the new adjusted time of 6.00pm for bedtime (knowing that the next day 6.00 pm will be 7.00 pm).
Or you could try the alternative method:
Slow adjustment after
This method is also easy. If you don’t want to change anything before daylight savings, you can slowly adjust to the new time over the week in 15 minute increments every couple of days. You simply bring things forward by 15 minutes.
So, on that first day they may wake up later and go to bed at 8.00pm but the next day just wake them at 7.45am and pop them to bed at 7.45pm. More than likely your children will have to get up at the new time to fit in with family life, ie kinder drop offs, school drop off etc. This actually quickly allows their circadian rhythm to adjust to the new time.
I’m personally a bit of a fan of this way for two reasons. Firstly, I never seem to get onto the adjustments early enough and daylight saving comes around and I’ve done nothing! Secondly, the one time I did try it, getting my children into bed earlier was something of a challenge. It was definitely easier to adjust them afterwards.
But do whatever works for you! And remember, when you practice great sleep hygiene with your little ones, time change transitions don’t take long to adjust to at all! Do you have any further questions relating to daylight savings that I can help with?
Let me know in the comments below and I will give you my best tips for a smooth transition.
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