What is daylight savings and how does it affect baby's sleep?

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Navigating the shift to and from daylight saving time can be challenging, especially when dealing with a baby's sleep schedule. However, with the right approach, you can turn this often-disruptive time into a smooth transition for both you and your little one. In this guide, we'll provide strategies and insights to ease your baby into the daylight saving time changes.

Understanding daylight saving time

Daylight saving time (DST) is the practice of setting the clock ahead by one hour from standard time during the warmer months of the year. This change means that evenings have more daylight, while mornings have less. Usually, clocks are adjusted forward one hour in late winter or early spring, and are adjusted backward in autumn. The main reason behind daylight saving time is to make better use of daylight and conserve energy.

Countries that observe daylight saving time

The following countries observe daylight saving time, however, it's crucial to keep in mind that the application of DST can vary from year to year based on local laws and customs:

European Union (EU): All countries in the EU observe DST, which includes, but is not limited to, France, Germany, Spain, Italy, and the United Kingdom.
United States: Most states and territories observe DST, except for Hawaii and most of Arizona.
Canada: Most regions observe DST, with the exception of some areas like most of Saskatchewan.
Australia: DST is observed in New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia, Tasmania, and the Australian Capital Territory.
New Zealand: The entire country observes DST.
Mexico: Most parts of Mexico observe DST.
Brazil: Some states in Brazil observe DST, although the practice has been inconsistent in recent years.
Chile: Chile observes DST, with changes occurring at different times of the year.

Why doesn't Asia have daylight savings? Many countries in South and Central America, Africa, and Southeast Asia don't have DST. Daylight hours are pretty much consistent all year round near the equator, so it doesn't make much sense to have DST.

Understanding your baby's sleep cycle

Before we delve into how to adjust your baby's sleep for daylight saving time, it's essential to have a clear understanding of a baby's sleep cycle. Unlike adults, babies experience sleep in shorter cycles, and their sleep patterns can be affected significantly by the environment, including changes in light due to daylight saving time.

Tailoring daylight saving time adjustments to your baby's age

Remember that your baby's age can greatly influence their adaptability to changes in sleep routines. Let's explore some age-specific tips for adjusting to daylight saving time.

Newborns (0-3 months)

For newborns, focus on maintaining a consistent routine rather than adhering strictly to the clock. Feeding on demand and allowing for lots of rest will help navigate the daylight saving time change smoothly.

Infants (4-11 months)

At this age, babies are more receptive to structured sleep routines. Gradually adjust bedtime and nap times to ease into the new schedule.

Toddlers (1-2 years)

With toddlers, you can use the daylight saving time change as an opportunity to reinforce a good sleep routine. Use visual cues, such as closing the blinds when it's time to sleep, to help communicate the change.

By understanding the potential challenges and addressing them proactively, adjusting your baby's sleep for daylight saving time can be a smooth process. It's all about planning ahead, staying consistent, and being patient as your baby adjusts to the new schedule.

How to transition the baby’s sleeping schedule

1. Gradually shift your baby’s bedtime

A few days before the time change, put the baby to sleep 15 minutes earlier or later (depending on the time change). For an adult, it is not a problem to sleep an hour less/longer, but for a baby, it is a significant change. Therefore, it is better to take smaller steps.

2. Stick to your baby’s nighttime routine

If your baby has a set evening routine, stick to it. Definitely don't skip any of the usual activities - reading stories, brushing teeth, playing lullabies, etc. Just shift these activities by a few minutes to correspond with the baby's new bedtime. That way the baby won't miss out on the rituals that signal to the brain and body that it's time to go to sleep.

3. Make the room dark

Some children are bothered by the light when they fall asleep. Help them by darkening the room. Make his/her room a little darker for an hour or two before bedtime. This helps reset and adjust the internal clock and gets it back on track, so your baby should sleep more soundly after an active day.


4. Safeguard naps

If your baby feels tired, just put him to sleep. Sometimes we tend to push back, shorten or lengthen nap time to "cram" your child's sleep into our schedule. Let's not do that. Let's follow the needs of the child. If we make only small shifts, gradually the child's sleep schedule will level out.

5. Get help with Bibino app

Don't worry, we're all only human and even the best parent forgets things sometimes. If you've forgotten to prepare your child for the time change, don't despair, we've got some tips to help you get them up to as quickly as possible. Using a few tips and tricks from the baby monitor Bibino might help your baby to fall asleep better.

Every baby is unique. Some sleep better in complete silence around them, while others fall asleep better with a color noise or a lullaby playing in the room. Select from over 20 lullabies and sounds - from color noises and household noises to sounds of nature. If you don't find what you need, you can record your own lullaby.

With Bibino you can make the baby's sleeping environment cozier. The Night Light feature projects a beautiful picture of an animal or a night sky (created by our talented graphic designers) on the baby's device. With the adjustable intensity, you can set a brightness that will suit your needs.

Handling daylight saving time challenges: Common issues and solutions

As with any changes to your baby's routine, adjusting to daylight saving time can present some challenges. Let's explore some of these common issues and how to address them.

Challenge 1: Early wake-ups

One of the most common issues parents face during the transition is early wake-ups. With the clock moving forward in spring, your baby might start waking up earlier than usual.

Solution: Gradual reset
To tackle this issue, you need to gradually reset your baby's internal clock. You can do this by pushing their bedtime later by 10-15 minutes each day. This way, over the course of a few days, your baby's sleep schedule will shift to the new time.

Challenge 2: Over-tiredness

Another common issue during the transition to daylight saving time is over-tiredness. If your baby is going to bed later but waking up at their usual time, they might not be getting enough sleep.

Solution: Adjust nap times

If you notice signs of over-tiredness, consider adjusting nap times to compensate for the lost sleep. Make sure your baby is getting enough daytime sleep to prevent them from becoming over-tired by bedtime.

Challenge 3: Difficulty falling asleep

Due to the change in daylight hours, your baby might have difficulty falling asleep at their usual bedtime.

Solution: Darken the room

Darken your baby's room in the evening to signal that it's bedtime. Consider using blackout curtains or blinds to create a darker environment, which can encourage the production of melatonin, the hormone responsible for sleep.

Techniques to reinforce the new sleep schedule

Adapting to the Daylight Saving Time change can be made easier by using various techniques to reinforce the new sleep schedule. These techniques will make the transition smoother, reducing stress for both you and your baby.

Technique 1: Sleep associations

Sleep associations are cues that signal to your baby that it's time to sleep. These can be very effective in reinforcing the new sleep schedule. Typical sleep associations include a pacifier, white noise, or a specific bedtime lullaby. Maintain these associations during the transition to provide a sense of continuity and security.

Technique 2: Morning light exposure

Light is a strong signal for our body clocks. In the morning, expose your baby to natural light. This will help reset their internal clock to align with the new time.

Technique 3: Evening wind-down routine

A calming evening routine can signal to your baby that it's time to wind down and prepare for sleep. This could involve a warm bath, a gentle massage, or reading a bedtime story. These calming activities can help your baby associate the routine with sleep time, reinforcing the new schedule.


Nurturing healthy sleep habits beyond daylight saving time

While adjusting for daylight saving time is important, nurturing healthy sleep habits for your baby year-round is equally vital. Establishing a consistent bedtime routine and creating a sleep-friendly environment can promote better sleep and make future transitions easier.

1. Building a bedtime routine

Establishing a consistent routine before bedtime can signal your baby that it's time to sleep. This routine could include activities like bath time, a bedtime story, and quiet time.

2. Creating a sleep-friendly environment

Your baby's sleeping environment plays a significant role in promoting good sleep habits. Consider factors like room temperature, noise levels, and lighting. A cool, quiet, and dimly lit room can enhance your baby's sleep quality.

Additional resources for navigating daylight saving time

There are several resources that can help guide you through adjusting your baby's sleep schedule during daylight saving time. Consider consulting a certified sleep consultant, who can provide personalized guidance and support based on your baby's specific needs and your family's routine. In addition, there are numerous books and online resources that provide advice on baby sleep patterns and how to navigate time changes effectively.

Frequently asked questions

1. How long will it take for my baby to adjust to daylight saving time?
This largely depends on your baby's temperament and age. Some babies can adjust to the new schedule within a few days, while others might take a week or more. Following the strategies outlined in this guide can help ease the transition.

2. My baby is waking up too early since the time change, what should I do?
Early wake-ups are a common issue during the transition to daylight saving time. To address this, try gradually pushing back your baby's bedtime in 15-minute increments. This can slowly shift their sleep schedule to align with the new time.

3. Can I adjust my baby's feeding schedule alongside their sleep schedule?
Yes, adjusting the feeding schedule in line with the new sleep schedule can help reinforce the changes. Try to shift feedings gradually, just as you do with sleep times.

4. Should I change my baby's nap times during daylight saving time?
Yes, it's advisable to adjust your baby's nap times gradually in line with the new sleep schedule. This can prevent your baby from becoming over-tired and can help maintain their overall sleep schedule during the transition.

5. How can I prepare for the next daylight saving time change?
Start preparing a week before the time change by adjusting your baby's sleep schedule gradually. Also, ensure your baby's room promotes healthy sleep – it should be cool, quiet, and dark. Establishing a consistent bedtime routine can also help.

6. When can babies safely sleep on their stomach?
Babies can start sleeping on their stomach once they are able to roll over on their own, which typically happens between 4-6 months of age. Until then, it's important to always place your baby to sleep on their back to reduce the risk of SIDS.

7. Why do babies often fight sleep?
Babies might fight sleep for several reasons, such as being over-tired, over-stimulated, or not having a consistent sleep routine. It's important to create a peaceful, sleep-friendly environment and maintain consistent sleep routines to help your baby settle more easily.

8. What are some tips for safe sleep for babies?
Creating a safe sleep environment for your baby includes placing them on their back to sleep, using a firm sleep surface, keeping soft objects and loose bedding out of their sleep area, and sharing a room with your baby.

Remember, these answers provide general guidance, and it's always best to consult your pediatrician for advice tailored to your baby's specific needs.


While daylight saving time may present some challenges, with understanding, planning, and consistency, you can navigate this period successfully. By understanding your baby's sleep cycle, gradually adjusting sleep schedules, maintaining a sleep-friendly environment, and utilizing effective techniques, you can make this transition as smooth as possible for your baby.

Remember, patience is key. Every baby is unique and may react differently to changes in routine. It's okay if your baby takes a little more time to adjust. As long as you're consistent and responsive to your baby's needs, they'll eventually get used to the new schedule. With this comprehensive guide, you're now well equipped to handle the daylight saving time transition confidently.

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