Daylight Saving And Baby Sleep: Adjusting Your Baby's Sleep in 2024

Springing forward and having to reset your internal clock every March is a big enough challenge for many adults. Daylight savings with a baby? Well let’s just say, the struggle is real.  

The sudden shift in their sleep schedule can completely disrupt your baby’s daily routine, undoing weeks of sleep training overnight: you may find that your baby is sleepy well before it’s time to fall asleep and tired and cranky when they wake up. 

Fortunately, there are things you can do to help your baby quickly adjust to daylight savings hours. We’ve rounded up some practical, real-world tips to help deal with the effects of daylight savings on your baby's sleep - and even get them to drift off to dreamland without being held.

Understanding the Impact of Daylight Savings on Baby Sleep

Daylight savings time can hit infant’s sleep schedules hard. The sudden shift in waking and daylight hours disrupts your baby’s circadian rhythms—the internal biological processes that regulate the sleep-wake cycle and other bodily functions over the course of the day. This can throw off their melatonin production and natural sleep cycles, making it harder for them to fall asleep and stay asleep at bedtime.

How to handle daylight savings with a baby 

Light plays a central role in regulating the body’s internal clock, and proper light management can help get your baby’s sleep-wake cycle back on track after the clocks jump ahead. A comfortable, dark, and cozy sleeping environment is crucial to minimizing disruptions to your baby’s sleep patterns so they get the consistent, high quality sleep they need to grow and stay healthy. In addition to dim lights, a room temperature between 68 and 72 degrees Fahrenheit and soothing white noise can help them sleep soundly and solve the daylight savings-baby sleep conundrum.

And of course, as you’re searching for solutions on how to handle daylight savings with a baby, be sure you’re always following the safe sleep guidelines recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP).

9 Real-World Tips for Managing Daylight Savings and Baby Sleep Schedules

Curious about how to prepare baby for daylight savings? Fortunately, there are things you can do to help your baby adjust to the time change. We’ve rounded up nine strategies to ease the transition and help you manage daylight savings with a baby.

  1. Create a Sleep-Inducing Environment: A dark room can help calm and settle your baby, signaling that it’s time for sleep. Hang blackout curtains in the nursery to block outside light and make the room consistently dim to help your baby drift off to sleep. 
  2. Adjust Routines Gradually: One easy way to help with babies and daylight savings sleep disruptions is to make little adjustments to your baby’s routine leading up to the time change. The week before daylight saving time begins, start gradually shifting bedtime, wake time, and nap times by 10 to 15 minutes. You may need to pull out some sleep training tricks, like the chair method or the fading method, to nudge baby back into their regular sleep habits. 
  3. Swaddling Your Baby: Swaddled infants often sleep longer and wake less during the night. Even if you’ve already retired the swaddle, it can be helpful to start swaddling your baby again during the daylight saving time transition to soothe and calm them and encourage restful sleep.    
  4. Use White Noise: Consistent, gentle sounds that mimic the familiar environment of the womb is soothing for most babies—and it can even mask common household noises that might wake them up. White noise creates a soothing sleep environment that helps your baby relax and fall asleep when daylight saving time has disrupted their schedule.     
  5. Introduce Comforting Motions: Just as white noise comforts your baby by reminding them of the womb, motion is instantly soothing for most babies. This is another way that the MamaRoo Sleep® Bassinet comes in handy. It has 5 parent-inspired motions and speeds to mimic your comforting movements, aiding in a smoother transition to sleep. 
  6. Stay Consistent with Bedtime Routines: Now is not the time to change or deviate from your bedtime routine. Stick with your regular before-bed schedule—like bath, massage, book, bottle—to signal to your baby that it's time to sleep, even if their internal clock tells them differently. 
  7. Seek Sunlight Exposure: Exposure to natural light throughout the day is a proven way to reset your baby's internal clock and address the concerns around daylight savings and baby's sleep schedule. Take advantage of longer spring days to head outside for walks, park visits, and other daytime activities and soak up some bright natural daylight.   
  8. Offer a Familiar Space: Babies thrive on routine, and being in a familiar spot is comforting to them. That’s why they love the MamaRoo Sleep® Bassinet— it’s a cozy spot that mimics your movements to provide a familiar and comforting environment that easily lulls them to sleep. 
  9. Be Patient and Flexible: Remember that everything is new for your baby and it may take them some time to adjust to daylights saving time. Be patient and be prepared to adapt your approach to their sleep based on your baby's response. 

Better Nights Are Just Ahead

Daylight savings time may be jarring for your baby, but implementing practical tips and using gear like the MamaRoo Sleep® Bassinet to help soothe them during the adjustment period can make the transition easier on both of you. 

How did you approach daylight savings and baby sleep? Did you find a solution that worked for you? It really does take a village to raise a child, so share your experiences and strategies with other parents in the 4moms® community and hear how other caregivers are springing forward into a brand new season with their baby.