Get your baby sleeping when the clocks go backHow to help your baby adjust to the time change

24 October 2015

Sleeping baby

Clocks going back might impact on your baby's sleeping patterns

The clocks going back for winter signals a welcome extra hour of sleep for many, but those with babies and small children know this interruption to the sleep schedule might be tricky for little ones. 

We’ve got some tips to help you manage baby sleep issues with the end of daylight savings, and advice for general baby and toddler sleeping problems.

Baby won’t sleep

When we surveyed more than 2000 parents this year in our online baby survey, sleeping came out on top as the most common issue parents experience with their children – an unsurprising stat for those who have lived through many crying baby-induced sleepless nights.

Perhaps clocks going back is the least of your worries, as you haven’t yet had your little one sleeping through the night. But we’re here to help. With the myriad of baby products out there promising great things, find out which baby sleep aids parents actually rated as the most useful. 

We also have a rundown of the main baby sleep training methods, to see if any of them might be worth trying for you and your child.

Help your baby adjust to the time change

The delicate circadian rhythms of babies who are already prone to sleep disruption can be exacerbated by the time shift, even if it’s only an hour. If your baby wakes at 6am usually, you might be unpleasantly greeted by a 5am start on Sunday morning. 

A good last minute fix is to try and have a very active and energetic day today, then try to put your baby to sleep slightly earlier than normal.

If you’ve established a relatively regular sleep pattern for your baby, you might be dismayed at the blip, but it shouldn’t be a long-term issue. 

If they wake up early on Sunday, don’t except them to stay in bed for the full extra hour; give 10 or 15 minutes and then allow them to get up. You may need to do this in increments to help them adjust, but it should only take a few days.

When will my baby sleep through the night?

It’s the question on many parents’ lips. Our infographic below shows the cumulative totals for the age that babies start sleeping through, according to the 2000+ parents we surveyed. Head to our guide, 'when will my baby sleep through the night' to find out which are the most common sleep issues experienced by parents, and what they've done to try and fix them.

1 Baby sleep patterns-01

Toddler sleep problems

Toddler sleep is a whole different challenge. With toddlers, you can try and explain the time change and ask them to wait until the sun comes up, or encourage this behaviour with a sleep training clock. Adjust the timing of the sun symbol on their sleep training clock, let them go to sleep a little later tonight to prepare them for the later start tomorrow, and reward them if they stay in bed until the sun comes up.

If you’ve got an argumentative toddler who won’t sleep, or are struggling to implement a routine, check out our guide to toddler sleep problems.

More on this...

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  • Make sure you follow our safe sleeping tips
  • Get yourself a blackout nursery blind