Daylight Savings Time: Springing Forward and Sleep

March 05, 2019

toddler face

© Summer Drew

We big people know that Spring Forward is the one that robs us of an entire weekend hour –  not our fav! When you wake up on Sunday morning, your body will think it’s, say, 6:00 a.m. but the clock will say 7:00 a.m.  However, keep reading as there may be a silver lining, especially if you have an early riser.

Before you go to bed on Saturday night, March 9th, turn your clocks forward one hour. There are 2 different ways to approach helping your baby make the time change.

You can have your child simply jump to the new time. This often works just fine for toddlers and older kids, who might feel a little groggy for a few days while they adjust. After a nice routine, put your child to bed at the new time (the time according to the clock) on Sunday evening.

Another approach is to help your baby gradually shift to the new time. Babies tend to have a slightly harder time with the change than older kids.

Once Sunday rolls around, what used to be 6:00 p.m. will now be 7:00 p.m., so your baby will be less sleepy at bedtime. Adjust sleep times a little earlier each day.


  • If your baby’s schedule is just where you want it, you’ll help her adjust to the new time gradually, by moving her bedtime and naps about 15 minutes earlier each day. You can do this before the time change, or after to help her catch up to the time change gradually.
  • If your baby’s current schedule is off and the time change will help (for example, you want him to go to bed and wake up an hour later), you’re in luck. You will be able to shift your baby immediately to the new time. It will still be very important to pay attention to blocking out early morning light and keeping bedtime and naptime routines consistent.
  • If your baby’s schedule is off in a direction where the time change will make it even worse (you want her to go to bed an hour earlier), adjust gradually to the new time and then continue until you’ve reached the desired bedtime. Make sure that you have blackout shades or curtains, for a very dark room in the morning.
  • Just continue the adjustment until your baby’s schedule is where you want it.

If you need tips on helping your baby sleep in the morning to her optimal wake up time, read our comprehensive blog (it helps to have the book as a companion!) on early rising.

Happy Sleeping! — Julie & Heather



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Photography by Summer Drew.

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