For all Australian states except QLD, NT and WA, 2 am on Sunday, April 3, 2022, heralds the end of daylight savings – the time to wind back the clock and farewell the long sunny days.
While it may seem like an easier transition than the beginning of daylight savings (when we were having to put bubs to bed in broad daylight), any changes to the clock can have a big effect on baby’s sleep cycles and routines.
We know some of you may be feeling a little anxious about a sudden change in bubs sleep routine so we reached out to two leading sleep experts for their best tips on how to manage the end of daylight savings without disrupting existing routines.
End of daylight savings for babies
Most experts agree that the key to making the daylight savings switch as smooth as possible for babies is preparation. Child Sleep and Settling Consultant Amanda Bude recommends starting the transition a few days before the clock changes.
“This gives your child’s body clock time to change to the bedtime, the wake times, the nap time and often meal time changes that a new schedule can impede on,” she explains.
Take a look at Amanda’s guideline for transitioning a baby (older than about six months) for the end of daylight savings. Adjust the steps according to how many days until daylight savings ends – it doesn’t matter if you’re still adjusting when the clocks go back.
Baby sleep schedule for the end of daylight savings
We’re assuming the current bedtime is 7 pm
- Night 1: Bed Time is 7:15 pm – All sleep and feed times are moved 15 minutes later, so when they wake up the next day, feed your bub at 7.15 am. Put your baby down for naps 15 mins later.
- Night 2: Bedtime is 7.30 pm – All naps and feeds through the day 15 mins later, and yes they may be tired, but this is why we do it slowly.
- Night 3: Bedtime is 7.45 pm – All naps and feeds moved from 15 mins again. So the first feed on the day is actually 7.45 am now move from 7 am.
- Night 4: Bedtime is 8 pm – Clock goes back, and wake your child at the new 7 am, to begin your day with the new routine and schedule.
Amanda also suggests getting blackout blinds to try and prevent your baby from rising early as the mornings get lighter. Because nobody needs a 5 am start!
Be prepared for nap changes
Paediatric sleep consultant, ‘The Sleep Coach’ Cheryl Fingleson says you may be surprised to find your baby will actually want to go to bed earlier and sleep longer as the temperature drops.
“This is completely normal, as our sleep rhythm is affected by the sun and light. Furthermore, longer night sleeps may affect the day naps,” she tells Mum’s Grapevine.
“If you find that the long night sleeps cause your child to get exhausted during the days, you will need to shorten the night sleeps slightly, to allow more time for the day naps.”
Sleep is sacred, and it’s only natural to feel overwhelmed when little humans decide they don’t want a bar of it. Take a beat, Mumma, and trust that your babe will find their own sleepytime groove soon enough. You’ve got this.
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