How to Handle the Clock Change.

One of the most frequently asked questions from parents revolves around managing sleep transitions when the clocks change. Whether it's the switch to daylight saving time or adapting to a new time zone, adjusting sleep schedules can be a daunting task for both children and parents. In this guide, Little Dreams Birmingham provides you with 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 take naps, the key is to find a middle ground between the old and new bedtime. For instance, if their usual bedtime is 7 p.m., on the first night of the time change, put them to bed at 7:30 p.m. Gradually shifting their bedtime can facilitate a smoother adjustment.

Toddlers (Ages 1 and Up)

Toddlers thrive on routine, so adapting their sleep schedule demands a bit more finesse. On the first day of the time change, put them down for their naps 30 minutes later than usual. Expect some crankiness as they adapt. Also, shift 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 the one used for older children but adjust bedtime by 15 minutes each night instead of 30. This gentler pace can make the transition smoother for your little one.


Newborns are a bit different as their bedtime is often less predictable. When dealing with newborns, treat the time 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 think.

General Tips for All Ages

Regardless of their age, there are some universal tips to aid your children in adjusting to the new sleep schedule:

1. Maintain Darkness in the Bedroom: Ensure your child's bedroom is completely dark. Consider using blackout blinds or curtains to block out external light, which can disrupt their sleep.

2. Stick to a Consistent Routine: Children thrive on routine. Keep mealtimes, playtimes, and other activities as consistent as possible, even if bedtime changes.

3. Practice Patience: Remember that it may take about a week for children and babies to fully adapt to the new schedule. Be patient with them during this transition period.

4. Establish a Soothing Bedtime Routine: Create a calming bedtime routine that signals to your child that it's time to wind down and sleep. This may involve reading a book, a warm bath, or some gentle rocking.

5. Limit Screen Time: Avoid screen time for at least an hour before bedtime. Managing sleep transitions for children of all ages can be a bit challenging, but with a well-thought- out plan and some patience, you can help your little ones adjust smoothly to the new schedule. If you encounter any sleep-related challenges with your child, please don't hesitate to reach out to Little Dreams Birmingham for a complimentary 15-minute consultation.