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Handling the Spring Clock Change

Spring clock change

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One of the most common concerns among parents revolves around managing sleep transitions during spring clock change, such as daylight saving time or adjusting to new time zones. Adapting sleep schedules can be daunting for both children and parents. Here I offer a comprehensive approach to navigating these transitions for children of all ages.

For Older Children (Without Naps)

When dealing with older children who no longer nap, it’s essential to find a compromise between their old and new bedtimes. For example, if their usual bedtime is 7 p.m., on the first night of the time change, aim for a bedtime of 7:30 p.m. Gradually shifting their bedtime can make the adjustment smoother.

Toddlers (Ages 1 and Up)

Toddlers thrive on routine, so adjusting their sleep schedule requires finesse. On the first day of the spring clock change, delay their naptime by 30 minutes. Expect some crankiness during this adjustment period. Additionally, move their bedtime 30 minutes later for three consecutive nights. By the fourth night, they should be ready to return to their regular bedtime.

Babies Over 4 Months

For babies over four months, the key is to reset their internal clock gradually. Employ a similar strategy to older children but adjust bedtime by 15 minutes each night instead of 30. This gentler pace can ease the transition for your little one.


Newborns are unique as their bedtime is often less predictable. When dealing with newborns, treat the spring clock change as if you were travelling to a new time zone. Adjust their routine to match the new time on the first night. Surprisingly, newborns are more adaptable than you might expect.

General Tips for All Ages

Regardless of age, there are universal tips to help your children adjust to the new sleep schedule:

  1. Maintain Darkness in the Bedroom: Ensure the bedroom is completely dark using blackout blinds or curtains to block external light.
  2. Stick to a Consistent Routine: Maintain consistent mealtimes, playtimes, and activities, even if bedtime changes.
  3. Practice Patience: Be patient as it may take about a week for children and babies to fully adapt to the new schedule.
  4. Establish a Soothing Bedtime Routine: Create a calming bedtime routine with activities like reading, a warm bath, or gentle rocking.
  5. Limit Screen Time: Avoid screen time at least an hour before bedtime.

Managing sleep transitions for children of all ages can be challenging, but with a well-thought-out plan and patience, you can help your little ones adjust smoothly to the new schedule. If you encounter any sleep-related challenges, don’t hesitate to reach out to Little Dreams Birmingham for a complimentary 15-minute consultation.

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