top of page

Daylight Savings 2023 - falling back an hour

Daylight savings ends this Sunday 2 April at 3am across Australia except or WA, QLD and NT. Clocks will go backwards 1 hour so 3am will be 2am. So if your child is waking at 6am they will wake at the time of 5am. Those of you with early risers are probably dreading this and others of you may just have questions about it so I want to share some thoughts with you. There are two ways you might manage this and this depends on your knowledge of your child, their temperament around routines and flow of their day, your family’s needs, family logistics and your parenting style. 1. Adjust before the time change: Gradually shift your child’s entire 24 hour cycle later by an hour in the 4 days prior to the change. So for example if they normally go to bed at around 7:30pm you will gradually shift them over the 4 days to an 8:30pm bedtime. 2. Wait and go with the flow after the time change: Let things gradually shift over the following days Before we delve in further, let’s start with some great news:

· Even if you do nothing to transition your littlies, they will cope with the time shift over time

· Darkness in the morning is more likely to encourage your baby to sleep later

· Keeping a closer eye on temperature changes and noise in the early hours of the morning can be helpful too

· Younger babies and older children will be less likely to be impacted by the change

Option 1: Adjust before the time change:

If you want to transition over four days, here is one way you can approach it. You can also do it over more than four days too. Remember though that this isn’t a guaranteed method in that doing this means your child will just breeze into the change. This is simply a way you may want to support your child through the change. Ultimately it all depends on how your child responds. You might find that it takes a number of days or a couple of weeks or your child’s cycle to fully change but you can keep using this method. This method is about gradually shifting your baby or child’s body clock so by the time it comes to the time change your baby will be straight back into their normal time. For example, if they wake normally at 6am then we are aiming to get their day started at 7am by the fourth day (or following days) so they may actually wake an hour later but it’s now 6am due to the time change • You move everything in their day in this way including sleep, feeding, routines and so on • Aimed at children 5 months to 5 years • Key to this transition is using lightness and darkness to encourage their body clocks to adapt when daylight savings begin. • Every child will react differently and if your child needs a few more days to adjust remember the three C's – be Confident, Calm and Consistent • Don’t sweat 5 minutes here and there, this is a guide but life is life • Be patient and remember we can all be a little out of kilter with the time change for a few weeks • We are giving your child the best shot at sleeping longer than they would in the morning by shifting everything in their whole day but it doesn't always work quickly so please don't stress if this isn't working out for you. You can take the same exact approach but do it over a number of days or use this approach after the time change has happened to help your child adjust. DAY ONE Wake Up & Morning:

· Keep your child in their sleep space or room or at least 15 minutes past their usual wake up time

· Keep the room as dark as you can

· You can be in the room or hold your child or be with them in any way you wish as we want your little one to be calm

· If your child is used to feeding straight away, see if you can delay this a little but if they will tolerate that

· Exposure to morning daylight is great


· Everything shifts in the day by 15 minutes later including meals as relevant

· Exposure to late afternoon sun/daylight where possible


· Bedtime is about 15 minutes later than normal

DAY TWO Wake Up & Morning:

· All the same as Day One except keep your child in their room for 30 minutes past their normal wake up time and delay the feed longer if you can (just do your best but if this is causing too much upset or your child is due a feed, please don’t cause upset. If it’s not working out or you please don’t stress)

Day: · All the same as day one except now everything is pushed out by 30 minutes


· All the same as Day One except put your child to bed 30 minutes later than you normally would


Wake Up and Morning:

· All the same as Day one except that now we are aiming to see if can keep in the dark longer however if your child is waking the same time as they normally do and therefore it’s quite early, it may be unrealistic to keep them in their dark space for 45 minutes. Some children might sleep longer with the later bedtime but it’s common for this to take time. The feedback here is to do your best to keep in the darkness for what feels possible but we don’t want an upset or stressed start to the day.

· Your focus will be on trying to push everything out later to push your child’s whole day out and this might mean stretching them along through their time awake in the day

Day: · All the same as Day One except push everything by 45 minutes

· Remember that it’s also okay for this to take more time and if this feels like the flow of the day and bedtime is too hard then you might need to just take longer with this process and that’s totally okay too

Bedtime: · All the same as Day One except put your child to bed 45 minutes later than you normally would

DAY FOURDAYLIGHT SAVINGS CHANGES Wake Up and Morning: · This is the day the time changes so everything depends on what time they are waking naturally at this point

· Your goal is that they move out of their dark space as close as possible to their normal waking time but recognising that this can take time and you don’t want to make things stressful if things need more time to adjust


· Base everything in their day on the new time like it was their previous routine. For example, if lunch was 12:30pm before the time change and you pushed to 1:30pm before the time change, now you’re adjusted back to 12:30pm


· The goal is that your child is going to bed at the normal time they did before the change as you have pushed their whole bedtime out before the change

· And again, while you may want everything to shift in 4 days, this might need more time.

Option 2: Wait until the change happens and go with the flow

It’s a completely valid option to just see how things go and adapt as you go with your child after the change.

Got questions? Feel free to join the Baby of Mine Sleep Village. A no-strings attached Facebook group for parents who value evidence-based, gentle and holistic approaches to sleep and parenting. Join here:

Always love,

Annie x

85 views0 comments
bottom of page