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How to Help Babies and Toddlers Adjust to Daylight Saving Time (and Back Again!)



In Australia, daylight saving time begins at 2am on the first Sunday in October when clocks are put forward one hour. It ends at 2am (which is 3am daylight saving time) on the first Sunday in April, when clocks are put back one hour.

You may think it’s already tough enough to get your stubborn sleeper to catch 40 winks. But if your little one is also adjusting to daylight saving time, they may have an even tougher time winding down to sleep and become a serious early riser. Not ideal!

How long does it take for babies and toddlers to adjust to or from daylight savings time? As with any shift in a set routine, adjusting to the clocks changing is a process. Even a small shift on the clock can mess with your baby’s sleep schedule but luckily with a bit of preparation, the switch to daylight savings’ can be a smooth transition for all.

Here’s how to handle switching to and from daylight saving time so your little one can stay on course with their regular nighttime routine.

After the start of Daylight Saving Time (October):

Putting your baby to bed earlier is easier said than done. Making incremental changes to your and your child’s evening routine by settling them into bed 15 minutes earlier than their usual bedtime each day, a few days before the switch can ensure the time change doesn’t feel too abrupt.

Assuming you have a 7pm bedtime:


Adjusting to the end of Daylight Saving Time (March/April): While most of us love the start of daylight savings, the end of daylight saving can seem depressing! By moving the clocks back an hour, all of a sudden seems like summer is nearly finished for another year, boo hoo!

After moving the clocks back an hour, children who were used to going to bed 6:30/7:00pm are likely to be ready to go to bed at 5:30/6:00pm. While that may be okay, they may then be likely to wake up at 4:00/5:00am – which may not be OK!!

So again, be proactive and prepare for the clocks going back. This should minimise the interference to your baby’s sleep and help them adjust much quicker

Assuming a 7pm bedtime:

– If your baby or toddler wants to sleep in a bit later (after you start adjusting their bedtime, then allow this. – Try and adjust the routine from the first feed of the day by 15 mins each day. if your baby can’t last first thing in the morning, just try to make the routine adjustments as the day goes on. – Put your clock back on Saturday night before you go to bed. – Check your smoke alarms at the same times.


This post originally appeared on mynewborn.com.au, and it has been published here with permission.

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